Scientific Name
Conophytum chrisocruxum S.A.Hammer
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v)
Assessment Date
A.J. Young & D. Raimondo
A highly localised species known from a single ridge in the Namaqualand region of South Africa. While occupying a tiny area of 0.0004 km² it has according to the IUCN Red List guidelines an extent of occurrence (EOO) and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 4 km². The entire population was estimated to be between 500-1000 individuals in 2015. In 2019 226 individuals were removed from the wild by succulent collectors. There is extreme and severe ongoing collection pressure on this species, without continued intensive enforcement efforts this species is highly likely to go extinct in the wild.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
information redacted, contact SANBI
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Namaqualand Klipkoppe Shrubland
Sheltered crevices at the edges of steep quartzite cliffs.
This species is extremely rare and highly desirable among succulent collectors. The population is very small and any removal of plants from the wild is likely to increase its risk of extinction. Illegal poaching pressure on this species is high, three Koreans were caught with 226 plants in mid 2019, after receiving fines, they returned to collect again in September 2019, but were caught again before they could collect. Poachers are collecting adult plants as well as seed capsules.

This species is known from a single subpopulation of an estimated 500-1000 mature individuals localized to a single ridge. The population is declining due to illegal collecting.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum chrisocruxum S.A.HammerVU D1+22017.1
Conophytum chrisocruxum S.A.HammerLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Hammer, S. 1997. New chrisogenic species of Conophytum from the Richtersveld. Cactus and Succulent Journal 69(3):127-131.

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

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.

Snijman, D.A. 2013. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 2: The extra Cape flora. Strelitzia 30. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Young, A.J. & Raimondo, D. 2020. Conophytum chrisocruxum S.A.Hammer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/11/28

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Distribution map

© A.J. Young

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