Scientific Name
Conophytum tantillum N.E.Br. subsp. heleniae (Rawé) S.A.Hammer
Higher Classification
Conophytum heleniae Rawé
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(v)
Assessment Date
A.J. Young & D. Raimondo
A range-restricted endemic taxon known from one location from an area of 2 km². This taxon has an extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) of 12 km². It is locally abundant but is however currently being targeted for the illegal succulent trade. It therefore qualifies as Critically Endangered under criterion B1.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
information redacted, contact SANBI
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Anenous Plateau Shrubland
This species ocurs in fine quartz gravel on flats and slopes, as well as in crevices in quartz outcrops.
The population occurs on communal rangelands that are overstocked with livestock. At present, grazing pressure is relatively low on the slopes and summits of the quartz ridges where it occurs. Habitat degradation and trampling by large herds of livestock does however pose a potential future threat to this species as it occurs on open quartz. This taxon has recently come under illegal poaching pressure with 15 plants obtained from Korean poachers in 2019. Many more plants are likely to have been poached and the pressure to supply the large demand for Conophytums is ongoing.

This taxon is localized, locally abundant, and the population is currently on declining due to illegal collection.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum tantillum N.E.Br. subsp. heleniae (Rawé) S.A.HammerVU D22015.1
Conophytum tantillum N.E.Br. subsp. heleniae (Rawé) S.A.HammerLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Hammer, S. 1991. Tantalus et tantillum. Cactus and Succulent Journal (USA) 63(3):139-141.

Hammer, S. 2002. Dumpling and his wife: New view of the genus Conophytum. EAE Creative Colour, Norwich.

Hammer, S.A. 1993. The genus Conophytum: A conograph. Succulent Plant Publications, 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.

Young, A.J. & Raimondo, D. 2020. Conophytum tantillum N.E.Br. subsp. heleniae (Rawé) S.A.Hammer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/11/28

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

© A.J. Young

© A.J. Young

Search for images of Conophytum tantillum subsp. heleniae on iNaturalist