Tag Archives: threatened species

Threatened Plant Species – Curtisia dentata

CORNACEAE: Curtisia dentata (Near Threatened)

Curtisia dentata, from the family Cornaceae is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s Near Threatened trees, occurring from Ngome Forest to KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. This tree is commonly known as Assegai, and threatened by over-exploitation and bark harvesting.

Curtisia dentata4

The tree grows between 15m and 20 m tall with leaves that are leathery, shiny and dark green in colour. The leaves are opposite, 120mm long and 75 mm wide, with dense bunches at the base. The under leaf is pale green with noticeable veins.

Curtisia dentata3

The stalks are about 25mm containing fine red hairs. The flowers are small, cream-coloured and velvety, with about 10-25 flowers per umbel, varying from yellow to brownish red.

Curtisia dentata2

The fruit are drupe, one or two seeded, and white to red in colour.

Curtisia dentata1


  • Notten, A. (2004, July). Curtisia Dentata. Available on: http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/curtisdent.htm [Accessed on 2 June, 2016]
  • Pooley, E. (1998). A field guide to wildflowers KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
  • Williams, V.L., Raimondo, D., Crouch, N.R., Cunningham, A.B., Scott-Shaw, C.R., Lötter, M. and Ngwenya, A.M.(2008). Curtisia dentata (Burm.f.) C.A.Sm. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. [Accessed on 2 June, 2016]
  • Images by A. Rebelo; D. Turner; C. Lochner and A.E. Symons

Threatened Plant Species – Nerine pancratioides

AMARYLLIDACEAE: Nerine pancratioides [Near Threatened]

Nerine pancratioides, commonly referred to as the White Nerine, is a plant that grows up to 600 mm long. It was previously observed in parts of the Midlands, south-western KZN as well as in north-eastern Lesotho. This gorgeous flower is also featured in the Midlands Conservancies Forum 2016 Wildflowers Calendar.


Nerine pancratioides photographed in the Karkloof by Richard Booth

Habitat loss and destruction has caused a significant decline in the species population size in several of its localities, and in some instances even resulting in extinction. Deterioration of wetlands in the form of overgrazing, invasive alien plant infestation and damming are major concerns for the population’s survival.

Nerine pancratioides

Nerine pancratioides photographed by CREW

The plant grows in moist areas with acidic soils, on banks of streams, in grassy depressions and in seepage areas on steep hillsides. The flowers appear between March and April and are known to respond well after fires have occurred.

Nerine pollinator

Nerine pancratioides photographed in the Karkloof by Richard Booth

The leaves grow to 300 mm long, are narrow, round at base and almost flattened towards the top. The stalk is robust growing to 600 mm long. The sheathing bracts are narrowly egg-shaped with sharp tips. The pedicels are densely covered with hairs, 300−450 mm long. The inflorescence is umbel, 10−20. Tepals are ± 25 mm and white.

Nerine pancratioides seed

Nerine pancratioides photographed by CREW

If you have seen this plant, please contact Suvarna Parbhoo, CREW programme: KZN Node Manager S.Parbhoo@sanbi.org.za


  • Baker, J.G. 1896. Amaryllideae. In: W.T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed). Flora Capensis VI (Haemodoraceae to Liliaceae):171-246. L. Reeve & Co., London.
  • Craib, C. 2004. Nerine pancratioides. Degradation of grassland habitats by exotic plantations are threatening the beautiful white Nerine with extinction. Veld & Flora 90:105-107
  • Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2015. Nerine pancratioides Baker. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2016/03/16
  • Pooley, E. 1998. A field guide to wild flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

Threatened Plant Species – Disa scullyi

ORCHIDACEAE Disa scullyi [Endangered]

Slender plant about 500 mm tall. It is found in swampy areas, in the midlands and in Mphendle and Estcourt. Leaves are 2-4, upright and usually folded together lengthwise. Petals upright, twisted to face forward, closing the spur entrance. Flowers spreading, facing down, pink or white with green lip and scentless. It flowers from December to February. Threats are habitat loss, disturbance of forestry plantations, competition from Alien invasive plants and development.

Disa scullyi-Isabel Johnson (2)

Disa scullyi-Isabel Johnson

If you have seen this plant, please contact Suvarna Parbhoo, CREW programme: KZN Node Manager s.parbhoo@sanbi.org.za

Reference: LINDER H.P & KURZWEIL H. 1999. Orchids of Southern Africa: 218. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Disa scullyi-Isabel Johnson (1)

Disa scullyi-Isabel Johnson

To view other Threatened plants in this series, go to the Midlands Conservancies Forum website: http://www.midlandsconservancies.org.za/threatenedplants/tplants.php

Threatened Plant Species – Woodii verruculosa

This is the first of a series of posts with information about a Threatened Plant that should be flowering in the Midlands right now.  Information is supplied by CREW – Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers.

CREW is a programme that involves volunteers from the public in the monitoring and conservation of South Africa’s threatened plants. In doing so, CREW aims to capacitate a network of volunteers from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. The programme links volunteers with their local conservation agencies and particularly with local land stewardship initiatives to ensure the conservation of key sites for threatened plant species.

Woodia verruculosa-Alison Young

APOCYNACEAE Woodia verruculosa [Vulnerable]

Woodia verruculosa is a perennial herb. Found in mistbelt and Ngongoni Grassland. Midlands and southern Zululand. Mostly recorded between Howick and Eston.

  • Stems 15-25 mm tall arising from a tuberous rootstock, falling seasonally, upright, simple, with milky latex.
  • Leaves are broad, rough, 4-7 pairs.
  • Corolla 3- lobed.
  • Peduncles 200-500 mm long.
  • Sepals longer than corolla. It is said to flower from October to December.

If you have seen this plant, please contact Suvarna Parbhoo, CREW programme: KZN Node Manager s.parbhoo@sanbi.org.za

If you are keen to join the Midlands CREW group, contact info@midlandsconservancies.org.za

r Woodia verrucosa_Alison Young

  • References: BROWN, N.E. 1907-1909. Asclepiadaceae. Flora Capensis 4.1:516
  • Photographer: Alison Young