Scientific Name
Ornithogalum perparvum Poelln.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
EOO 9120 km², less than 10 known locations continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss to crop cultivation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Karoopoort to Riversdale.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Breede Shale Renosterveld, Matjiesfontein Shale Renosterveld, Eastern Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Central Ruens Shale Renosterveld
Clay flats and lower slopes.
Renosterveld within the known range of this species is at least nearly 50% transformed, although within the Overberg (southern part of the range) habitat loss exceeds 80%. Clay flats and lower slopes are used predominantly for the cultivation of wheat and other crops, thus some subpopulations occurring on rocky slopes are potentially safeguarded as they occur in areas that cannot be ploughed. Small fragments between crop fields are often heavily grazed, but most Ornithogalum species are poisonous to stock, and often benefit from the disturbance caused by grazing.

Taxonomic problems mean that this species is probably overlooked, and thus a confident estimate of the number of remaining subpopulations cannot be made at present. The species is said to be declining rapidly (Müller-Doblies and Müller-Doblies 1996). Loss of renosterveld habitat to crop cultivation increased from 45% in 1996 to 49% in 2009, a rate of 3.1% per 10 years.

Population trend
This species was treated as a synonym of Ornithogalum pilosum by Obermeyer (1978) and Goldblatt and Manning (2000), but reinstated in a 1996 revision (Müller-Doblies and Müller-Doblies 1996). The name is upheld in the most recent classification of the genus (Manning et al. 2009).
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Ornithogalum perparvum Poelln.VU B1ab(iii)2012.1

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.

Manning, J.C., Forest, F., Devey, D.S., Fay, M.F. and Goldblatt, P. 2009. A molecular phylogeny and revised classification of Ornithogaloideae (Hyacinthaceae) based on an analysis of four plastid DNA regions. Taxon 58(1):77-107.

Müller-Doblies, U. and Müller-Doblies, D. 1996. Revisionula incompleta Ornithogalorum Austro-Africanorum (Hyacinthaceae). Feddes Repertorium 107(5-6):361-548.

Obermeyer, A.A. 1978. Ornithogalum: a revision of the southern African species. Bothalia 12(3):323-376.

von Staden, L. 2012. Ornithogalum perparvum Poelln. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/24

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Distribution map

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