Scientific Name
Ixia capillaris L.f.
Higher Classification
Ixia capillaris L.f. var. gracillima Ker Gawl., Ixia gracilis Salisb., superfluous name for Ixia capillaris L.f., Ixia tenella Klatt, Morphixia capillaris (L.f.) Ker Gawl. (in part)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened A2c
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Ixia capillaris is a widespread and relatively common species that is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation. Based on habitat loss observed over 24 years, a population reduction of 22-28% is suspected over the past three generations (60 years), nearly meeting the 30% population reduction threshold for Vulnerable under criterion A2.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the Western Cape, where it occurs from Piketberg and Koue Bokkeveld to Bot River and Riversdale.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Breede Shale Renosterveld, Ceres Shale Renosterveld, Kouebokkeveld Shale Fynbos, Breede Shale Fynbos, Montagu Shale Fynbos, Montagu Shale Renosterveld, Central Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Boland Granite Fynbos, Swartland Shale Renosterveld, Swartland Alluvium Fynbos, Northern Inland Shale Band Vegetation, Western Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Central Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Swellendam Silcrete Fynbos, Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos, Kouebokkeveld Alluvium Fynbos, Breede Alluvium Renosterveld, Swartland Silcrete Renosterveld, Ruens Silcrete Renosterveld, Swartland Granite Renosterveld, Western Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Eastern Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Matjiesfontein Shale Renosterveld, Greyton Shale Fynbos
It occurs on damp clay slopes in fynbos and renosterveld, most often on south-facing slopes.
This widespread species has lost more than 60% of its habitat to agricultural expansion (wheat, vineyards and fruit orchards) and loss is continuing. Subpopulations on small fragments are also threatened by competition from alien invasive plants in places.

This species is very common in spite of extensive habitat loss - recent field observations indicate that it persists at at least 30 locations. The population continues to decline, and based on the rate of habitat loss observed between 1990 and 2014, a population reduction of 22-28% is estimated to have occurred over three generations (60 years).

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Ixia capillaris L.f.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

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. 2008. Systematics of the southern African genus Ixia (Iridaceae). 2. The filiform-leaved I. capillaris complex. Bothalia 38(2):115-124.

Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P. 2012. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 1: The Core Cape Flora. Strelitzia 29. 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.

von Staden, L. 2018. Ixia capillaris L.f. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/11/28

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Distribution map

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

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