Current Status

The current status of plant species listed as extinct in the wild can be found here:

This list is current. The following Extinct species are no longer Extinct because survivors have been found. These fall into two categories:

  • Species lost and presumed extinct - usually because of lack of data and their never having been seen for more than 50 years, in some cases hundreds of years. Their rediscovery could quite well result in them being declared Least Concern, if their locality was remote but unthreatened. However, a some species are not hidden in locality, but in time: they only flower for a month or two in the year or two following a fire, and as a consequence their presence may easily be missed. Until their behaviour is understood, and people search in the right places at the right season in the right age after a fire: when they might well be found to be quite common.
    *The living dead. These are species whose rediscovery is of an isolated and small remnant of a once larger habitat, now all transformed. These species no longer have a viable home that can sustain a minimum viable population, and their future is entirely dependent on some restoration project to create some habitat for their future survival.

The following species are no longer considered extinct (EW: extinct in wild, but in cultivation):

Psoralea cataracta Waterfall Fountainbush (1790s) - found Oct 2019
Polhillia ignota Whocares Syrupbush (1900s) - found Nov 2016
Helichrysum outeniquense Joubertinia Everlasting (1947) - found 2016
Mimetes stokoei Mace Pagoda (1950)- re-emerged after hot fire 2000
Aspalathus cordicarpa (1950s) - found March 2016 (only confirmed 2019)
Pleiospilos simulans (2007) - found 2016 by Outramps (EW)

Presumed Extinct:
Polycarena silenoides Cape Granite Flax (1940s) - rediscovered August 2015
Aspalathus amoena Bree Capegorse (1970s) - rediscovered May 2013

Taxonomically revised, and therefore now considered just a population of another species.
Drosanthemum insolitum (CR PE) - is now sunk into Drosanthemum boerhavii
Haworthia venosa subsp. woolleyi (CR PE) - is now sunk into Haworthiopsis woolleyi

Posted by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo, December 02, 2019 12:25



One of my favorite things is to hear about these "Lazarus species." So exciting to hear about all of the discovery happening. :)

Enjoyed this post, Tony. Thanks!

Posted by sambiology over 1 year ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo does this get updated according to Red list status, because I don't see that P. ignota is included in this project. I see you mention it above, but is it now only included in CR project due to its downgraded status? Should EX and CR PE not forever remain in this project as testiment to their rediscovery?

Posted by mr_fab 9 months ago (Flag)

No: this project is about their current Red List status.
The place for foreever remaining is at

Posted by tonyrebelo 9 months ago (Flag)


Posted by mr_fab 9 months ago (Flag)

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