Scientific Name
Moraea flexicaulis Goldblatt
Higher Classification
Moraea flexuosa Goldblatt, Moraea pavonia (L.f.) Ker Gawl.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
P. Goldblatt, P.C.V. Van Wyk, D. Raimondo & L. von Staden
EOO is uncertain, but based on known records of this species, is <100 km². Plants are known to survive at one location, where it continues to decline due to ongoing habitat degradation due to overgrazing, but it is also known from at least one other location, and possibly occurs at a few more.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Northern Richtersveld Scorpionstailveld, Southern Richtersveld Scorpionstailveld
Sandy loams on exposed, arid flats.
The low-lying, arid flats of the Richtersveld has been almost completely decimated by severe overgrazing. In many areas, shrub cover has been lost completely, while in most others, only unpalatable pioneer species survive. This species is possibly already locally extinct at the type locality, and the only other known subpopulation is also severely threatened due to overgrazing and trampling, which has damaged and exposed the soils in the area to such an extent, that it is now highly vulnerable to wind and water erosion.

This species is known from two localities, about 70 km apart. At the type locality, this species was last recorded in the early 1980s. This area is now so severely degraded due to overgrazing, and surveys are needed to confirm whether this subpopulation persists. At the second locality, where the species was first collected in 1988, and recorded again in 2013, it is also subjected to severe overgrazing, trampling and erosion, and is declining rapidly (P.C.V. van Wyk pers. obs.). Similar areas of arid flats are all severely degraded due to overgrazing across the Richtersveld, but because the two localities are so far apart, the possibility exists that more subpopulations could be found in the intervening areas. More field surveys are needed to determine whether any other surviving subpopulations exist.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Moraea flexicaulis GoldblattEN B1ab(iii,v)2015.1
Moraea flexicaulis GoldblattCritically Rare Raimondo et al. (2009)
Moraea flexuosa GoldblattEndangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Goldblatt, P. 1982. A synopsis of Moraea (Iridaceae) with new taxa, transfers, and notes. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 69(2):351-369.

Goldblatt, P. 1986. The Moraeas of Southern Africa: a systematic monograph of the genus in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Transkei, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Annals of Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens 14:1-224. National Botanic Gardens in association with the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA, Cape Town.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2002. Notes and new species of Moraea (Iridaceae: Iridoideae) from the southern African winter-rainfall zone. Novon 12:352-356.

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.

Goldblatt, P., Van Wyk, P.C.V., Raimondo, D. & von Staden, L. 2015. Moraea flexicaulis Goldblatt. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/18

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Distribution map

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