Scientific Name
Ornithogalum ceresianum F.M.Leight.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
M. Martínez-Azorín, J.C. Manning & L. von Staden
A highly range-restricted species (EOO 35 km²), currently known from only two locations but possibly remaining at a third, and declining due to ongoing habitat loss to crop cultivation and urban expansion.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Warm Bokkeveld east of Ceres.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Ceres Shale Renosterveld
Loamy soils in seasonally moist areas or along streams.
Threatened by ongoing habitat loss to urban expansion and crop cultivation.

Ornithogalum ceresianum is known from only very few collections, and most are very old and without specific locality details, indicating only that they were collected near the town of Ceres. The species was described in 1933, but treated as a synonym of the widespread and very common Ornithogalum thyrsoides in a subsequent revision (Obermeyer 1978). After two subpopulations were recorded in roadsides to the east of Ceres in 2005, the species was reinstated (Manning et al. 2007). Plants were abundant in somewhat disturbed vegetation (J.C. Manning pers. comm.), but on a subsequent visit in 2011, no plants could be found at either of the locations (M. Martínez-Azorín pers. comm.) A third subpopulation may possibly still survive on the farm Lakenvlei at the foot of the Hex River Mountains, where it was last recorded before 1944.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Ornithogalum ceresianum F.M.Leight.EN B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)2012.1

Leighton, F.M. 1944. A revision of the South African species of Ornithogalum L. Parts I & II. Journal of South African Botany 10:83-122.

Manning, J.C., Martínez-Azorín, M. and Crespo, M.B. 2007. A revision of Ornithogalum subgenus Aspasia section Aspasia, the chincherinchees (Hyacinthaceae). Bothalia 37(2):133-164.

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

Martínez-Azorín, M., Manning, J.C. & von Staden, L. 2012. Ornithogalum ceresianum F.M.Leight. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/24

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Distribution map

© I. Ebrahim

© I. Ebrahim

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