Scientific Name
Sparaxis elegans (Sweet) Goldblatt
Higher Classification
Sparaxis cuprea (Sweet) Klatt, Streptanthera cuprea Sweet, Streptanthera cuprea Sweet var. non-picta L.Bolus, Streptanthera elegans Sweet
Common Names
Elegant Satinflower (e), Showy Satinflower (e), Spogfluweeltjie (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v)
Assessment Date
D. Raimondo & L. von Staden
A highly range-restricted (EOO 538 km²), but locally still fairly common species, in spite of extensive habitat loss to crop cultivation. Twelve known locations continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, as well as competition from alien invasive plants.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape, Western Cape
Bokkeveld plateau and Koebee Valley.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Bokkeveld shale, on clay soils derived from Dwyka tillite and dolerite.
Around Nieuwoudtville, this species' shale renosterveld habitat has been extensively lost to crop cultivation, and less than 50% remains intact. In this area, Sparaxis elegans occurs in small fragments, and continue to decline due to ongoing, sporadic expansion of crop cultivation (D. Raimondo pers. obs.). Field observations also noted competition from alien invasive grasses as an ongoing threat. Recent collections expanded the known range of this species to Vanrhynsdorp Shale Renosterveld around Oorlogskloof and the Koebee Valley. In this area, this species' habitat is still largely intact, and most subpopulations are not currently threatened.

This species is locally abundant in suitable habitat, with subpopulations consisting of several thousand individuals. The subpopulation around Nieuwoudtville, once extensive, has however been fragmented by habitat loss.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Sparaxis elegans (Sweet) GoldblattNT B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v)2015.1
Sparaxis elegans (Sweet) GoldblattVU D2Raimondo et al. (2009)
Sparaxis elegans (Sweet) GoldblattVulnerable Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Sparaxis elegans (Sweet) GoldblattIndeterminate Hall et al. (1980)

De Vos, M.P. 1999. Duthiastrum. In: O.A. Leistner (ed). Flora of Southern Africa 7 Iridaceae Part 2: Ixioideae, Fascicle 1: Ixieae:139-141. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2013. Systematics and biology of the Cape genus Sparaxis (Iridaceae). Strelitzia 32. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

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.

Raimondo, D. & von Staden, L. 2014. Sparaxis elegans (Sweet) Goldblatt. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/17

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Distribution map

© B. Koelle

© C. Paterson-Jones

© C. Paterson-Jones

© C. Paterson-Jones

© R.C. Turner

© R.C. Turner

© R.C. Turner

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