Pondo Climbing Currant

Scientific Name
Searsia acocksii (Moffett) Moffett
Higher Classification
Rhus acocksii Moffett
Common Names
Pondo Climbing Currant (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & A.T.D. Abbott
A range-restricted species (EOO 1700 km², AOO 200 km²). Declining in extent and habitat quality outside formal reserves, due to too frequent and intense grassland fires impacting on forest margins. Subpopulations not severely fragmented and occurs in 10-20 locations.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Oribi Gorge to Isicezula Forest.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Pondoland scarp forest, understorey shrub in forest margins or rocky outcrops above river gorges, restricted to Msikaba Formation Sandstone, 200-600 m.
The main threat to Pondoland woody endemics restricted to forest margins is too frequent and intense grassland fires that are causing forest margins to recede (D. Styles, C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. obs.) This threat is affecting forest margins mainly in the areas between Umtamvuna and Mkambati Nature Reserves, and around Lusikisiki. From Port Edward to Oribi the largest remaining areas of forest are fairly well protected within the Umtamvuna and Oribi Gorge Nature Reserves, however, some areas of forest above the edges of these deep gorges have undoubtedly been cleared for forestry and agriculture (mainly sugarcane) in the past. Smaller forest patches outside of reserves are threatened by the effects of fragmentation and isolation within a transformed landscape as well as alien invasive encroachment. The small forest fragment at Izotsha Falls is severely degraded due to firewood harvesting (Van Wyk 1984).
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Searsia acocksii (Moffett) MoffettNT B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Rhus acocksii MoffettLower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)

Abbott, T. 2006. The story of the Pondoland Centre. PlantLife 33&34:5-72.

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

Moffett, R.O. 1988. Rhus acocksii (Anacardiaceae), yet another new endemic from the Mtamvuna area. South African Journal of Botany 54(2):172-174.

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.

Van Wyk, A.E. 1984. A new species of Maytenus (Celastraceae) from southern Natal. South African Journal of Botany 3(2):115-119.

von Staden, L. & Abbott, A.T.D. 2007. Searsia acocksii (Moffett) Moffett. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/24

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

Search for images of Searsia acocksii on iNaturalist