Scientific Name
Asclepias woodii (Schltr.) Schltr.
Higher Classification
Gomphocarpus woodii Schltr.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Asclepias woodii has an extent of occurrence of 1000-3662 km², and an estimated Area of Occupancy of <1000 km². Between four and 10 known remaining locations continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
This species is endemic to KwaZulu-Natal, where it occurs from the Midlands to Zululand.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, Mooi River Highland Grassland, Southern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland
It occurs in unburnt areas in moist and mistbelt grasslands, 600-1400 m.
Mistbelt grasslands, particularly in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, has been extensively modified due to agricultural and urban expansion, as well as exotic timber plantations, and less than 30% remains intact. Currently, there is ongoing habitat loss and degradation due to low cost housing (Nicholas 1999, Nicholas pers. comm.), alien invasive plants and too frequent fires - this species is adapted to flower in mature unburnt grasslands.

This species is known historically from about 13 locations, but recent field surveys have recorded it at only four locations. This species has suffered extensive habitat loss across the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, but over a period longer than three generations. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat loss and degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Asclepias woodii (Schltr.) Schltr.NT B1ab(ii,iii)2015.1
Asclepias woodii (Schltr.) Schltr.VU B1ab(ii,iii)+2ab(ii,iii)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Asclepias woodii (Schltr.) Schltr.EN B1B2cScott-Shaw (1999)
Asclepias woodii (Schltr.) Schltr.Endangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Brown, N.E. 1909. Asclepiadeae. In: W.T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed). Flora Capensis IV Section I (Vacciniaceae to Gentianeae):518-1036. Lovell Reeve & Co., Ltd., London.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Nicholas, A. 1999. A taxonomic reassessment of the subtribe Asclepiadinae (Asclepiaceae) in Southern Africa. Unpublished Ph.D., University of Durban-Westville, Durban.

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.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

von Staden, L. 2018. Asclepias woodii (Schltr.) Schltr. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/11/28

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Distribution map

© C. Grant

© C. Grant

© C. Grant

© C. Grant

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