Acanthopsis glandulopalmata

Scientific Name
Acanthopsis glandulopalmata H.M.Steyn
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(iii)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & H.M. Steyn
This species has a restricted distribution range (EOO 1954 km²), and is known from three widely scattered locations. As it is threatened at all known locations, based on current knowledge it qualifies for the category Endangered under criterion B. The estimate of the number of locations is however highly uncertain, and it may be under-sampled and more common than records suggest. The threats affecting this species, particularly overgrazing in the Richtersveld, is likely to affect most areas with suitable habitat, and therefore it is likely to be threatened across its range. It is therefore assessed as Endangered based on precautionary principles, but may need to be downlisted in future if further field surveys indicate that there are more than five locations.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
Southern Richtersveld to the Namaqualand coastal plain inland of Kleinsee.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Umdaus Mountains Succulent Shrubland, Anenous Plateau Shrubland, Central Richtersveld Mountain Shrubland, Namaqualand Heuweltjieveld
Quartz pebble plains with well-drained sandy soils, 120-700 m.
Plants at one location are threatened by ongoing habitat loss to prospecting and mining. At two other locations in the Richtersveld it is likely to be threatened by overgrazing. Communal rangelands are heavily overstocked with livestock, leading to an ongoing degradation of the natural vegetation such as a loss of shrub cover and plant species diversity, as well as topsoil due to erosion. It possibly exists at a few more locations, but is likely to be facing similar threats in other areas.

This species is known from four widely scattered subpopulations. It is a localized habitat specialist, but is also likely to be under-sampled as it occurs in a remote and botanically still relatively poorly explored area. The population is likely to be declining at all known locations, but these may be a significant underestimate of the number of existing locations. Further field surveys are needed to gain a better understanding of the population structure and abundance of this species.

Population trend

Steyn, H.M. and Van Wyk, A.E. 2017. Taxonomic notes on Acanthopsis (Acanthaceae, tribe Acantheae): the group with semi-dense spikes and 5-fid bracts. Phytotaxa 324(2):101-121.

von Staden, L. & Steyn, H.M. 2017. Acanthopsis glandulopalmata H.M.Steyn. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/03

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Distribution map

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