Showy Freesia

Scientific Name
Freesia speciosa L.Bolus
Higher Classification
Freesia flava (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br., Freesia sparrmannii (Thunb.) N.E.Br. var. flava N.E.Br.
Common Names
Showy Freesia (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable C1
Assessment Date
J.H. Vlok & D. Raimondo
A rare, range restricted species (EOO 900 km²), occurring in scattered, small subpopulations. The population size is fewer than 10 000 mature individuals and is declining by at least 10% within one generation (10 years) due to overgrazing.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Anysberg to Calitzdorp.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Western Little Karoo, Oudshoorn Karroid Thicket
Karroid shrubland, in shale-derived soils on stony flats and dry sandstone outcrops.
Declining due to overgrazing and agricultural expansion. During a survey for the vegetation map of the Little Karoo, many areas where this species were found in small numbers were degraded due to heavy overgrazing (J.H. Vlok pers. obs.).

Freesia speciosa occurs in small, localized subpopulations (Manning and Goldblatt 2010). The total population size is estimated as fewer than 10 000 mature individuals and has declined by at least 10% within one generation (J.H. Vlok pers. comm.).

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Freesia speciosa L.BolusVU B1ab(iii,v); C1Raimondo et al. (2009)
Freesia speciosa L.BolusVulnerable Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Freesia speciosa L.BolusRare Hall et al. (1980)

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.

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.

Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P. 2010. Botany and horticulture of the genus Freesia. Strelitzia 27:1-114. South African National Biodiversity 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.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Vlok, J.H. & Raimondo, D. 2012. Freesia speciosa L.Bolus. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/17

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Distribution map

© W. Wiles

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

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