Ixopo Dwarf Currant

Scientific Name
Searsia rudatisii (Engl.) Moffett
Higher Classification
Rhus rudatisii Engl.
Common Names
Ixopo Dwarf Currant (e), Rudatis's Dwarf Currant (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered A2ac
Assessment Date
C.R. Scott-Shaw, J.E. Victor, A.T.D. Abbott & L. von Staden
This long-lived resprouter has lost 70-80% of its habitat to crop cultivation within the last 80 years (generation length 30 years). Three of six subpopulations are now extinct, and there is continuing decline in the habitat due to afforestation, subsistence farming and invasion by alien wattles.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Hela-Hela to Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, Moist Coast Hinterland Grassland, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland
Open grasslands, in gently sloping, or flat areas with well-drained loamy soils, 300-1300 m.
The grassland habitat suited to this species is also prime agricultural (sugar cane) and forestry area. There has been 70-80% transformation of this habitat. Three historically known populations are now locally extinct, and a further one is currently disappearing due to forestry and heavy grazing. There is a general, ongoing decline in the habitat due to increasingly greater portions of land being converted to agriculture, mainly for subsistence farming, including small woodlots of Gum Trees that are being established. Across the valley from Highflats, where this species is already extinct, towards Umzimkhulu, tree planting permits are still being granted. Invasions by exotic wattles are also a problem (C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. comm. 2007).
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Searsia rudatisii (Engl.) MoffettEN A2acRaimondo et al. (2009)
Rhus rudatisii Engl.VU A1c,B1B2abcd,D1D2Scott-Shaw (1999)
Rhus rudatisii Engl.Rare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

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

Moffett, R.O. 1993. Rhus. In: O.A. Leistner (ed). Flora of southern Africa 19 Part 3: Anacardiaceae, Fascicle 1:1-129. 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.

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

Scott-Shaw, C.R., Victor, J.E., Abbott, A.T.D. & von Staden, L. 2007. Searsia rudatisii (Engl.) Moffett. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/24

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Distribution map

© S. Parbhoo

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