Wild Plum

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Harpephyllum caffrum Bernh. ex Krauss
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
ANACARDIACEAE
Common Names
Essenhout (a), Gwenjabessie (a), Gwenja-bessie (a), Ingwenve (x), Kafferpruim (a), Kaffir Date (e), Kaffir Plum (a), Mmedibibi (ns), Mothêkêlê (ns), Plum (e), Pruim (a), Sour Plum (e), Suurbessie (a), Suurpruim (a), Umgwenya (z), Umgwenya (x), Umgwenye (x), Umgwenye-hangul (x), Umgwenyobomvu (x), Wild Plum (e), Wilde Pruim (a), Wilde-pruim (a), Zuure Pruim (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
2008/01/15
Assessor(s)
V.L. Williams, D. Raimondo, N.R. Crouch, A.B. Cunningham, C.R. Scott-Shaw, M. Lötter & A.M. Ngwenya
Justification
This species' bark is harvested for traditional medicine, and although local declines have been noted, it is not yet suspected to be in danger of extinction. Monitoring is needed.
Distribution
Endemism
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga
Range
This species is widespread across eastern South Africa, from Limpopo to the Eastern Cape. It also occurs in eSwatini (Swaziland), Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Forest
Description
It occurs in forests, 0-1400 m.
Threats
Bark harvested for traditional medicine in moderate quantities and sold in the muthi markets in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Cunningham (1988) classed it as declining in KwaZulu-Natal and estimated the annual trade to be 424 bags (50kg-size). It was ranked joint eleventh of the medicinal species most frequently demand by consumers in KwaZulu-Natal (Mander 1998) There appears to be a recent interest in the species by bark harvesters, which has led to a consequent increase in debarking and rink-barking of the species - especially in the Inanda area (N.R. Crouch, pers. comm. 2008). Crouch reports that large trees in the Inanda area have died as a result of bark harvesting. This is having a significant impact on forest structure because these trees are important keystone species in forests. Monitoring is needed. The species is, however, quick growing and will re-coppice (Grace et al. 2002).
Population
Population trend
Unknown
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Harpephyllum caffrum Bernh. ex KraussLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Bibliography

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.


Cunningham, A.B. 1988. An investigation of the herbal medicine trade in Natal/KwaZulu. Investigational Report No. 29. Institute of Natural Resources, Pietermaritzburg.


Fernandes, R. and Fernandes, A. 1966. Anacardiaceae. In: A.W. Exell, A. Fernandes and H. Wild (eds). Flora Zambesiaca 2 (Part 2):550-615. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London.


Grace, O.M., Prendergast, H.D.V., van Staden, J. and Jager, A.K. 2002. The status of bark in South African traditional health care. South African Journal of Botany 68(1):21-30.


Mander, M. 1998. Marketing of indigenous medicinal plants in South Africa: a case study in KwaZulu-Natal. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.


Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.


Citation
Williams, V.L., Raimondo, D., Crouch, N.R., Cunningham, A.B., Scott-Shaw, C.R., Lötter, M. & Ngwenya, A.M. 2008. Harpephyllum caffrum Bernh. ex Krauss. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/08/12

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map


Search for images of Harpephyllum caffrum on iNaturalist