Shaggy-hair Spoon

Scientific Name
Spatalla tulbaghensis (E.Phillips) Rourke
Higher Classification
Common Names
Shaggy-hair Spoon (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
EOO 40 km², AOO 17 km², fire-related population fluctuations occur in small, severely fragmented subpopulations. The population continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation by expanding fruit orchards, dam construction, altered drainage systems, overgrazing and alien plant invasion. This species is susceptible to drought-related mortality and dormant subpopulations are easily overlooked in surveys.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Witzenberg and Skurweberg.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs in moist, coarse sandy soils on flats, 800-1700 m. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Seeds are released after ripening, and dispersed by ants to their underground nests, where they are protected from predation and fire. It is pollinated by insects.
The habitat has been lost in past to infrastructure developments and crop fields. There is continuous degradation and loss of habitat due to heavy grazing and expanding agricultural fields. Alien invasive plants are becoming dense in some parts of the habitat, the extreme dry conditions, dam construction, canalization and altered drainage all have resulted in reduction of water supply. The dormant subpopulations are likely to be missed during the vegetation surveys and EIAs. Mortalities related to droughts have been observed.

Currently known from two populations of less than 100 plants, which form small, dense, isolated stands.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Spatalla tulbaghensis (E.Phillips) RourkeEN B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Spatalla tulbaghensis (E.Phillips) RourkeEndangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Spatalla tulbaghensis (E.Phillips) RourkeVulnerable Hall et al. (1980)

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.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

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

Rebelo, T. 2001. Sasol Proteas: A field guide to the proteas of southern Africa. (2nd ed.). Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg, Cape Town.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Spatalla tulbaghensis (E.Phillips) Rourke. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/17

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

© C. Paterson-Jones

© C. Paterson-Jones

© R.C. Turner

Search for images of Spatalla tulbaghensis on iNaturalist