Pondo Jackal-coffee

Scientific Name
Empogona africana (Sim) Tosh & Robbr.
Higher Classification
Diplospora africana Sim, Tricalysia africana (Sim) Robbr.
Common Names
Pondo Jackal-coffee (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered C2a(i)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & A.T.D. Abbott
A range-restricted species that occurs in small subpopulations of fewer than 20 mature individuals in highly threatened forest margins along four river gorges in Pondoland. Total population is estimated to not exceed 1000 mature individuals. There is an continuing decline as a result of harvesting for firewood and too frequent and intense grassland fires that impact on the forest margins. Also potentially threatened by alien plant invasion.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape
Mtentu River to Magwa Gorge.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Scarp Forest
Pondoland scarp forest, in margins and forest undergrowth on Msikaba Formation Sandstone.
The main threat to Pondoland woody endemics restricted to forest margins is too frequent and intense grassland fires that are causing forest margins to recede (D. Styles, C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. obs.) Indiscriminate harvesting of firewood is also likely to affect this species. It is potentially threatened by encroaching alien invasive Chromolaena odorata on the Mtentu River.

Subpopulations are very small, estimated to be 15-20 mature individuals per subpopulation (T. Abbott pers.comm.).

Population trend
Protected in the Mkambati Nature Reserve.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Tricalysia africana (Sim) Robbr.EN C2a(i)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Tricalysia africana (Sim) Robbr.Lower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)
Tricalysia africana (Sim) Robbr.Endangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)

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

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

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.

Tosh, J., Davis, A.P., Dessein, S., De Block, P., Huysmans, S., Fay, M.F., Smets, E. and Robbrecht, E. 2009. Phylogeny of Tricalysia (Rubiaceae) and its relationships with allied genera based on plastid DNA data: Resurrection of the genus Empogona 1. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 96(1):194-213.

von Staden, L. & Abbott, A.T.D. 2007. Empogona africana (Sim) Tosh & Robbr. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/03

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Distribution map

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