Pondo Rose-apple

Scientific Name
Memecylon bachmannii Engl.
Higher Classification
Memecylon grandiflorum A.& R.Fern.
Common Names
Pondo Rose-apple (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & A.T.D. Abbott
Very common in forests in the Pondoland Centre, with sporadic occurrences elsewhere in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Although some isolated subpopulations are impacted by habitat degradation and firewood harvesting, this is not at present considered likely to lead to the extinction of this species.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Common in the Pondoland Centre between the Izotsha River and Lusikisiki, isolated occurrences northwards to Durban and southwards to the Mbashe River.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Coastal forest.
Very common across the Pondoland centre, and do not appear to be seriously threatened or declining (T. Abbott pers. comm.) However, local declines are likely in densely populated rural areas, e.g. around Izotsha and Paddock, and accessible areas in forests outside protected areas elsewhere in Pondoland, where forests are severely degraded due to indiscriminate harvesting of firewood (Van Wyk 1984). This is however presently considered unlikely to place this species under threat of extinction. Monitoring of subpopulations in areas under possible threat is required to more accurately define trends in the population.
Population trend
Protected in the Umtamvuna, Mkambati and Cwebe Forest reserves. Protected tree in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Distribution: The distribution of this species is not well defined in the literature. This species was published as a short note (Van Wyk 1983) and only the type was specified. The species is classified as a Pondoland near endemic requiring further research by Abbott (2005). Coates Palgrave (2002) indicates a strictly coastal distribution, with isolated outlying records north and south of the Pondoland region. Pooley (1998) indicates a distribution reaching quite far inland in the Eastern Cape. The distribution used in this assessment is based on comments by T. Abbott, as well as the map in Coates Palgrave (2002). Pooley's inland distribution (Pooley 1998) requires further investigation since both authors (Coates Palgrave 2002 and Pooley 1998) state that the habitat is coastal forests.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Memecylon bachmannii Engl.LC 2020.1
Memecylon bachmannii Engl.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Abbott, T. 2005. Pondoland Centre endemics and their distribution patterns. http://www.safcei.org.za/wildcoast/pondoland.htm Downloaded on 10-10-2007.

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

Coates Palgrave, M. 2002. Keith Coates Palgrave Trees of southern Africa. 3rd Edition. Struik, Cape Town.

Pooley, E. 1998. The complete field guide to trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

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.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

Van Wyk, A.E. 1983. The correct name for Memecylon grandiflorum (Melastomataceae). South African Journal of Botany 2(2):173.

Van Wyk, A.E. 1984. A new species of Maytenus (Celastraceae) from southern Natal. South African Journal of Botany 3(2):115-119.

von Staden, L. & Abbott, A.T.D. 2007. Memecylon bachmannii Engl. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/14

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Distribution map

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