Scientific Name
Delosperma aereum (L.Bolus) L.Bolus
Higher Classification
Delosperma aereum (L.Bolus) L.Bolus var. album (L.Bolus) L.Bolus
National Status
Status and Criteria
Data Deficient - Insufficient Information
Assessment Date
D. Raimondo
Delosperma aereum is a rare and poorly known species. Based on currently available data, its risk of extinction cannot be assessed.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
The distribution range of this species is not well known. There are only two collections with locality descriptions, one from Prince Albert in the Western Cape and the other from Klipplaat in the Eastern Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Nama Karoo
Its habitat is not known: it is not described on herbarium specimens.
This species' entire known range falls within an area earmarked for shale gas fracking, which is likely to cause significant population decline if it is to go ahead. A Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment submitted to South Africa's Department of Environment Affairs in 2016 cautioned against the authorisation of shale gas fracking, based on the very high infrastructure costs associated with fracking as well as multiple secondary negative impacts both to biodiversity and other economic activities in the region. Furthermore, subsequent geological studies found that gas deposits are not as substantial as originally suspected due to the very old age of the Karoo shale formations, and the effect of widespread dolerite intrusions that resulted in much of the gas being lost. At present, future development scenarios are too uncertain to estimate the potential extent of the impact on the population but it is unlikely that shale gas fracking will proceed in the near future.

This species is known from only three collections, with the type specimen lacking a description of the collection locality. It was last recorded in 1985. Delosperma is a poorly known genus urgently in need of taxonomic revision (Chesselet et al. 1995), which means that collections are difficult to identify with certainty. This species is possibly overlooked, or may be insufficiently distinct from other species to warrant recognition. The population size, extent and trend is not known.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Delosperma aereum (L.Bolus) L.BolusLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Bredenkamp, C. In prep. Conspectus of the flora of the Eastern cape. Strelitzia.

Chesselet, P., Mössmer, M. and Smith, G.F. 1995. Research priorities in the succulent plant family Mesembryanthemaceae Fenzl. South African Journal of Science 91:197-209.

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.

Raimondo, D. 2019. Delosperma aereum (L.Bolus) L.Bolus. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/11/28

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Distribution map

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