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Malolotja Nature Reserve - Flora - Priority Species

Information extracted from Southern African Plant Red Data Lists, Ed. Janice Golding, Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 14, 2002. The links for each species name go to the relevant pages of the Swaziland Flora Database.

Critically Endangered

Cheirostylis gymnochiloides
Status: CR B1B2cC2b Threats: Mining Distribution: Bomvu Ridge (Ngwenya Mountain— Malolotja) Appears to be extremely rare everywhere. There is apparently only a single collection from Swaziland. Also known from dune forest in South Africa, and as far afield as Tanzania and Madagascar. Flowers from August to September. Iron ore mining is a threat in Swaziland.

Crassula vaginata subsp. minuta
Status: CR A1cB1B2ab Endemism: Near endemic Threats: Urban expansion, habitat degradation Distribution: North of Mbabane (possibly Nkwalini landfill site) Found on rocky granite hills. Could be extirpated in the next five to ten years. Landfill site is a serious threat to locality, seriously threatened. The species is known only from this site in Swaziland.

Encephalartos heenanii
Status: CR A1acdC2a Threats: Collection Distribution: Ngwenya Ridge, Malolotja In 1985, 100 plants were counted. In 1999, only 20 plants could be located. These plants are known from a locality where no recruitment seems to be taking place. A few years ago, this species was also found in a protected area in Swaziland but in very small numbers. Also known from South Africa. Threatened by illegal collectors.

Encephalartos laevifolius
Status: CR A2deB2bD Threats: Pest/disease Distribution: Malolotja In Swaziland, the effects of a pathogen are evident. Threatened by illegal collectors.

Syncolostemon comptonii
Status: CR A1cB1B2a Endemism: Endemic Threats: Damming Distribution: Malolotja, Maguga Threatened by construction of a new dam at Maguga. The species is known from only a single locality.

Warburgia salutaris
Status: CR A1bcd Threats: Collection Distribution: Malolotja, possibly in Lomati Valley Only six trees observed outside protected areas in Swaziland (as reported by conservation authorities in Swaziland). Very few individuals in protected areas, but these are regenerating and are currently not being utilised.


Aloe chortolirioides var. chortolirioides
Status: EN B1B2abC2a Distribution: Bulembu area, Barberton Mountains, Malolotja, Hawane Waterfall, Piggs Peak (gold mine) On rocky open outcops. Is a fire dependent species. listed as Rare for Swaziland in previous RDLs. The red form is found in the Bulembu area. Common between Bulembu (Swaziland) and Barberton Mountains (South Africa). Generally known from Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga in South Africa. Synonyms: Aloe chortolirioides A.Berger var. boastii (Letty) Reynolds

Brachystelma coddii
Status: EN B1B2cC2aD Distribution: Malolotja, Bomvu Ridge, Mbabane, Piggs Peak Three records in Swaziland, including from a protected area, by Compton, Braun and Kemp.

Disa intermedia
Status: EN B1B2cC2a Endemism: Endemic Threats: Habitat degradation Distribution: Forbes Reef, near Mbabane, Malolotja, near Oshoek Grows at an altitude of 1,000 m. Was considered to be common at one time, but due to continued habitat destruction, it is rapidly declining. Flowers in January. Found in highveld grassland.

Melanospermum italae
Status: EN B1B2cC2a Endemism: Near endemic Distribution: Malolotja (Ngwenya Hills), Motjane On sandy places around rock sheets. In South Africa, it is known from the Piet Retief area and Itala.

Melanospermum swazicum
Status: EN B1B2aC2a Endemism: Near endemic Threats: Fire, grazing, habitat degradation Distribution: Mbabane, Malolotja, possibly Ngome, Siphocosini Grows on hills. Subpopulation at Ngome may be a different species. Only one locality known outside Swaziland.

Protea comptonii
Status: EN B1B2cD Endemism: Near endemic? Distribution: Bulembu, Malolotja One outlying subpopulation in KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), although more common in northern and northeastern parts of South Africa.

Prunus africana
Status: EN C2aD Distribution: Near Malolotja (Forbes Reef), near and in Mbabane Also known from South Africa (KwaZulu Natal) and further afield. Is widely utilised for its medicinal purposes.

Siphonochilus aethiopicus
Status: EN A1d Threats: Collection Distribution: Malolotja, Balegane, Komati Valley, Piggs Peak Generally heavily utilised everywhere. Was on the previous Swaziland RDL as Rare. The Malalotja subpopulation is well known and utilised by local herbalists, even though it is located within a protected area. There are unconfirmed reports that several subpopulations are protected from over utilisation through traditional laws, but this cannot be confirmed. Well represented outside Swaziland.


Aloe ecklonis
Status: VU B1B2cD2 Distribution: Malolotja area, Forbes Reef, between Motjane and Oshoek Tips into Swaziland. Mainly a South African distribution. Very common and widespread in South Africa. Synonyms: Aloe kraussii Baker; Aloe boylei Baker

Aloe kniphofioides
Status: VU A2cB1B2c Threats: Collection, harvesting, grazing, fire, urban expansion Distribution: Malolotja, Forbes Reef, Nyonyane Sisa Ranch, Bulembu, Mbabane, Mankayane Grass aloe. Common in Malalotja. Not protected in Forbes Reef. Used in Nyonyane Sisa. Medicinal usage, cattle and resettlement are further threats. Widespread in South Africa.

Dianthus mooiensis subsp. kirkii
Status: VU C1C2a Threats: Collection Distribution: Malolotja, Piggs Peak, Usuthu, Maguga Dam In South Africa, found in the Magaliesberg and Witwatersrand (possibly declining over much of its range). Has horticultural potential. In Swaziland, it is used to make the royal soap for the King. The Swaziland subpopulations are scattered and locally rare. Utilisation is a serious threat.

Encephalartos paucidentatus
Status: VU A1cdC2aD2 Distribution: Makonwya, Malolotja Found in a protected area. The species is found along the Swaziland South African border. Also known from South Africa where it is threatened. Threatened by illegal collectors.

Protea parvula
Status: VU B1B2cC2a Distribution: Timbuti Farm, Hawane, Malolotja Common in the former Transvaal of South Africa.

Streptocarpus wilmsii
Status: VU B1B2c Endemism: Near endemic Threats: Urban expansion Distribution: Devils Bridge, Kings Forest, Mbabane, Hilltop, Ukuthula

Lower Risk

Alepidea parva
Status: LR lc Threats: Collection, mining Distribution: Ngwenya Mountains near Mbabane, Malolotja Reported to be threatened outside Swaziland. Used for its medicinal properties.

Aristida transvaalensis
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Malandzela, Miomba, Forbes Reef Three records in a protected area by Braun. Widespread in South Africa.

Begonia sonderiana
Status: LR lc

Bulbine inflata
Status: LR lc Distribution: Manzini, Mbabane, Usuthu, Malolotja, Bulembu

Cephalaria petiolata
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Forbes Reef Road One of the four records in a protected area. The synonym is not used in Swaziland. It is common outside Swaziland.

Chlorophytum haygarthii
Status: LR lc Distribution: Forbes Reef Road, Malolotja At least two records from Swaziland by Compton and Heath. Common in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal (South Africa).

Crassula acinaciformis
Status: LR lc Distribution: Ukuthula, Hlatikhulu, Komati Bridge, Mlawula, Maguga, Siteki, Umbeluzi Gorge One protected locality.

Cyrtanthus bicolor
Status: LR lc Threats: Collection Distribution: Malolotja, Umbeluzi Valley, Mbabane (Umbeluzi Valley), Forbes Reef, Komati River Valley Was on the previous Swaziland RDL as Rare. Found in grassland. Eaten as a vegetable.

Dietes flavida
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja and Mlawula Reserves, Lebombo Has a disjunct distribution and scarce everywhere.

Diospyros galpinii
Status: LR lc Distribution: Mankayane, Maphalaleni, Miller, Mantenga Highveld grassland species.

Disa stachyoides
Status: LR lc Distribution: Mlembe, Malolotja Widespread in many parts of South Africa. Also reported in Lesotho.

Ehrharta erecta var. erecta
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja Taxonomy needs attention.

Eragrostis comptonii
Status: LR lc Endemism: Endemic Distribution: Mbabane area, Malolotja Occurs in shady places at foot of rocks or forest margins. Very similar to Eragrostis curvula.

Erica cerinthoides var. barbertona
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Waverley Mine, Mhlangamphepha Valley, Piggs Peak Two records in Malolotja by Compton and Braun.

Eriosema ellipticifolium
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Malandzela, Mbabane One record in Swaziland by Heath.

Eriosema transvaalense
Status: LR nt Threats: Damming Distribution: Malolotja, Maguga Has a globally restricted distribution.

Hemizygia albiflora
Status: LR lc Distribution: Ngwenya Mountains Known from collections in Swaziland by Compton and Dlamini.

Hemizygia modesta
Status: LR lc Distribution: Bomvu Ridge, Havelock, Gege, Forbes Reef Recorded in Swaziland by Compton.

Heteropyxis canescens
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Mbabane, Black Umbeluzi Valley, Palwane Valley Was considered previously to be Rare in Swaziland. Common in Malolotja.

Heterosamara galpinii
Status: LR lc Distribution: Devils Bridge, Kings Forest (Bulembu) In South Africa, it has been categorised as Rare and even Endangered in previous RDLs. Occurs in unprotected small localities.

Leucospermum gerrardii
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja (and surroundings) Fairly common in Mpumalanga (South Africa). Locally common, but restricted distribution. Subpopulation stable. Can survive fires. Habitat specific, soapstone.

Merwilla plumbea
Status: LR nt Threats: Collection Distribution: Malolotja, Usuthu, Mbabane Widespread. Suggested to be classified as Vulnerable. Widely used and still abundant. In remote places it is frequent. Collected for medicinal purposes.

Nerine angustifolia
Status: LR lc Distribution: Ngwenya Mts, Forbes Reef Road, Malolotja Recorded in Swaziland by Compton and Braun.

Psilotum nudum
Status: LR lc Distribution: Umbeluzi Gorge, Malolotja, Mlawula A cosmopolitan species, but seldom common anywhere. Widespread in Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Australia, Polynesia, Spain, the Americas and so forth.

Schizochilus cecilii subsp. culveri
Status: LR nt Endemism: Near endemic Distribution: NW Swaziland, Malolotja Confined to the mountains between Barberton (South Africa) and northwestern Swaziland. Flowers from December to January.

Streptocarpus dunnii
Status: LR lc Distribution: Mbabane, Forbes Reef, Motjane, Gobolondo, Piggs Peak, Malolotja Narrow distribution. Mainly known from the Barberton area in South Africa. Habitat specific on granite.

Syncolostemon concinnus
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Mankayane, Hlatikhulu

Tephrosia cordata
Status: LR lc Distribution: Malolotja, Havelock, Mbabane

Tinnea barbata
Status: LR lc Distribution: Wyldesdale, Malolotja Recorded in Swaziland by Compton, Heath and Braun.

Watsonia bella
Status: LR lc Threats: Grazing, fire Distribution: Malolotja, Hlatikulu, Forbes Reef, Mbabane, 5 km NE of Motjane, Malalotja In Swaziland, grazing by cattle is a threat. Common in South Africa.

Data Deficient

Aloe cooperi subsp. cooperi
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja Valley, Ezulwini, Stegi, 20 km North of Piggs Peak Found in Malalotja Valley in the mid veld. Taxonomic problem makes this species difficult to assess. Very common and widespread in South Africa.

Asclepias cultriformis
Status: DD Distribution: Usuthu, 14 km from Piggs Peak to Mbabane, unspecified locality in Mbabane Widespread, although represented by only a few collections.

Bersama tysoniana
Status: DD Known from two records in Swaziland by Dlamini. From a South African perspective, unlikely to be rare.

Brachystelma gerrardii
Status: DD Distribution: Black Umbeluzi Valley, Nkomati Pass, Little Usuthu River, Sipocosini, Komati Pass Recorded in Swaziland by Compton.

Canthium suberosum
Status: DD Distribution: Hlatikhulu Known from specimens collected by Compton.

Chamaecrista capensis var. flavescens
Status: DD Distribution: Stroma Known from collections in Swaziland by Compton.

Costularia natalensis
Status: DD Threats: Afforestation Distribution: Usuthu Forest, Dalriach, Ukuthula, Piggs Peak Found in grassland and forest margins. In KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), it is threatened by afforestation. The commonly used genus name is Tetraria. Common in KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province (South Africa).

Crassula alba var. pallida
Status: DD Endemism: Endemic? Distribution: Bomvu Ridge, Mukusini Hills, Nyokane Recorded from Swaziland by Compton and Dlamini.

Crassula alba var. parvisepala
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja, Maguga, Ngenya Hills, Siteki, Bearded man Mountain. Known mainly from three records, one in a protected area. Two are possibly in an inundated area.

Crassula compacta
Status: DD Distribution: Bomvu Ridge Known from collections by Compton and Forsyth Thompson.

Dierama medium
Status: DD Distribution: Usuthu, Waverley Mine Common in South Africa.

Ehrharta erecta var. natalensis
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja Known from collections in Swaziland by Braun. Widespread in the summer rainfall region of South Africa.

Helichrysum argyrolepis
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja, Ukuthula, Usuthu, Mbabane, Ngwenya Mountains, Devils Bridge Recorded in Swaziland by Compton and Braun. Common in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal (South Africa).

Helichrysum aureum var. candidum
Status: DD Distribution: Forbes Reef, Mbabane, Gobolo Known from several varieties in Swaziland. Helichrysum aureum var. aureum was collected by Compton in the Lebombo. H. aureum var. monocephalum was collected by Braun in Malolotja. Swaziland seems to be an ecotone for varieties of this species.

Helichrysum chrysargyrum
Status: DD Distribution: Black Mbeluzi Valley, Ukuthula, Mbabane, Ngoyoyo Recorded in Swaziland by Compton. Several records for it in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal (South Africa).

Helichrysum difficile
Status: DD Distribution: Forbes Reef Known from collections in Swaziland by Compton. Common in Gauteng and Mpumalanga (South Africa).

Helichrysum galpinii
Status: DD Distribution: Waverly Mine, Ngwenya Mountains, Motjane, Mbabane, Bomvu Ridge Recorded in Swaziland by Compton. Fairly common in Mpumalanga (South Africa).

Helichrysum mutabile
Status: DD Distribution: Evelyn Baring Bridge, Komati Pass Both records in Swaziland by Compton.

Helichrysum reflexum
Status: DD Distribution: Havelock Road, Bomvu Ridge Record in Swaziland by Compton. Known from several records in Mpumalanga (South Africa).

Helichrysum transmontanum
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja, Mhlambanyatsi Valley, Black Mbeluzi Valley, Emlembe Recorded in Swaziland by Compton and Braun.

Hemizygia transvaalensis
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja, Piggs Peak One record for Swaziland requiring confirmation.

Ornithogalum saundersiae
Status: DD Distribution: Marula Ridge, Mbabane, Cecil Marks Pass Recorded in Swaziland by Compton and Nicholson.

Plectranthus rubropunctatus
Status: DD Distribution: Mdzimba, Forbes Reef, Ermelo Rd., Piggs Peak, Mbabane

Sartidia jucunda
Status: DD Endemism: Near endemic Distribution: Malolotja The species is restricted to the Barberton Mountains. Known from only a single site outside Swaziland.

Schoenoxiphium lehmannii
Status: DD Threats: Urban expansion, collection Distribution: Malolotja, Hilltop The synonym was listed as threatened in previous RDLs. Hilltop site near an informal settlement where it is highly threatened. Used for basketry. Very common in South Africa.

Stachys arachnoidea
Status: DD Distribution: Mbabane District, Malolotja, Piggs Peak, Forbes Reef

Stachys natalensis var. natalensis
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja, Havelock mine, Nduma, Ngwenya Mountain.

Stachys simplex
Status: DD Distribution: Malolotja, Mbabane

Streptocarpus cyaneus subsp. cyaneus
Status: DD Distribution: Millers Falls, Mhlambanyatsi, Piggs Peak, Malkerns, Malolotja

Site Map
Reference Material

Malolotja Nature Reserve
Malolotja Vegetation
Malolotja Flora Checklist
Annotated Grasses Checklist
Threatened Flora
Swaziland Flora Database
SNTC Headquarters: Parliament Road. P O Box 100, Lobamba, Swaziland. Tel: (+268) 2416 1516, 2416 1489, 2416 1179. Fax: (+268) 2416 1875, 2416 1480. Email: info@sntc.org.sz
National Museum:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1875
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: curator@sntc.org.sz
King Sobhuza II Memorial Park:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1489
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: ksmp@sntc.org.sz
Malolotja Nature Reserve:
Tel/Fax: (+268) 2444 3241
Cell: 7660 6755
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Mantenga Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1151
2416 1178, Fax: 2416 1480
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Magadzavane Lodge
Mlawula Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2343 5108/9
Fax: 2343 5111
Email: magadzavane@sntc.org.sz