Summer Impala Lily

Scientific Name
Adenium swazicum Stapf
Higher Classification
Common Names
Rathbonia (e), Summer Impala Lily (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable A4cd
Assessment Date
M. Lötter & L. von Staden
This species is declining rapidly due to habitat loss and collecting, and is estimated to have declined by 20% since 1990. A population reduction of 30-40% is projected to be met by 2048, within three generations of this long-lived species (generation length 20-30 years). It is therefore listed as Vulnerable under criterion A.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
This species occurs from the Kruger National Park and Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in the north and extends into Komatipoort and Swaziland along the Lebombo Mountains and adjacent areas in south-western Mozambique.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Gabbro Grassy Bushveld, Tshokwane-Hlane Basalt Lowveld, Delagoa Lowveld, Granite Lowveld, Zululand Lowveld, Malelane Mountain Bushveld
Plants grow in deep clay soils predominantly derived from basalt and ryholite, in short mixed thornveld, 200-400 m.
This species is threatened by rapid ongoing habitat loss to sugarcane and fruit cultivation outside the Kruger National Park, where very little of its natural habitat remains intact. Large parts of its remaining habitat is also degraded due to overgrazing. This species is additionally collected from the wild for the medicinal and horticultural trade.

About 56% of this species' habitat is protected within the Kruger National Park, where the population is safe from habitat loss and collecting. There is however significant pressure on the rest of the population. It has already declined by at least 20% since 1990, and it is likely to become locally extinct outside the Kruger Park within three generations (60-90 years) - a population reduction of 30-40%.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Adenium swazicum StapfVU A4cd2020.1
Adenium swazicum StapfCR A4acdRaimondo et al. (2009)
Adenium swazicum StapfIndeterminate Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Adenium swazicum StapfIndeterminate Hall et al. (1980)

Codd, L.E. 1963. Apocynaceae. In: R.A. Dyer, L.E. Codd and H.B. Rycroft (eds). Flora of southern Africa 26 (Myrsinaceae-Apocynaceae):244-296. Botanica Research Institute, Pretoria.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. and Kupicha, F.K. 1985. Apocynaceae. In: E. Launert (ed). Flora Zambesiaca 7 (Part 2):395-498. Flora Zambesiaca Managing Committee, London.

Plaizier, A.C. 1980. A revision of Adenium Roem. & Schult. and of Diplorhynchus Welw. ex Fic. & Hiern (Apocynaceae). Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 80(12):1-40.

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.

Van der Walt, K. 2010. In: The ecology and population biology of the Critically Endangered succulent - Adenium swazicum (pp. 1-3). Paper presented at the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress Proceedings, Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

Van der Walt, K. and Witkowski, E.T.F. 2017. Seed viability, germination and seedling emergence of the critically endangered stem succulent, Adenium swazicum, in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 109(237-245).

Lötter, M. & von Staden, L. 2018. Adenium swazicum Stapf. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/14

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Distribution map

© Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency (M.T.P.A.)

© L. von Staden

© L. von Staden

© J.E. Burrows

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