Plant story - Canthium vanwykii collected by the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

This species is endemic to small area of South Africa.

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01 Jan 2010

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Canthium vanwykii in the wild

Fruit of Canthium vanwykii (Photo: Erich van Wyk)

Plant profile

This plant species is restricted to forest margins and rocky outcrops and crevices in grassland on the Msikaba Formation Sandstone in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces in South Africa. It is a range-restricted species endemic to a relatively small area of the Pondoland centre for endemism, an area that has long been known to harbour numerous plant species which are either uncommon, or absent, on surrounding substrates.


Like many other plant species restricted to this area, Canthium vanwykii is under threat due to a loss of habitat caused mainly by intense and too frequent grassland fires.

Collected for future use

Seeds of the species were collected in May 2003 by the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership and are conserved in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst.


Von Staden, L. & Abbott, A.T.D. 2007. Canthium vanwykii Tilney & Kok. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2011.1. Accessed on 2011/08/18

Story by Paul Smith and Erich van Wyk  | More plant stories

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