2118.000 Thesium L.

Description of the genus

Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, parasitic or hemiparasitic. Leaves sessile, alternate, scale-like or ± linear. Flowers bisexual, solitary or in cymes, each flower subtended by 1, often conspicuous, bract which is often adnate to the pedicel or peduncle and 2 bracteoles or (in T. atrum and T. fastigiatum) by an involucre of 4 or more bracts. Perianth (3-4-)5-lobed, often with conspicuous external glands on the perianth tube below the sinuses of the lobes. Stamens as many as lobes; anthers (in ours) attached to lobes by tufts of hairs. Ovary with 3 ovules. Stigma capitate. Fruit a nut, rarely fleshy, usually 10-ribbed, crowned with the persistent perianth.

Comment: A very difficult genus to identify in the field at species level. Almost all distinguishing features are based on measurements or characteristics of minute parts, which can only be seen and compared reliably under a microscope.

Worldwide: 325 species in the Old World

Mozambique: 24 taxa.

The larvae of the following species of insect eat species of this genus:
Eicochrysops messapus (Cupreous blue)
Thesium nigricans

Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesFZ divisionsContent
asterias A.W. HillMS
brevibarbatum Pilg.MSDescription
breyeri N.E. Br.GI,M
chimanimaniense Brenan[NrEnd][LR-nt]MS
cymosum A.W.HillMS
dissitum N.E.Br.T
dolichomeres Brenan[NrEnd][LR-nt]MSDescription, Image
fastigiatum A.W. HillN,ZDescription, Image
fimbriatum A.W. HillN
goetzeanum Engl.MSDescription, Image
gracile A.W. HillZ,MS,M
inhambanense Hilliard[End]GI
mukense A.W. HillM
multiramulosum Pilg.M
nigricans RendleMSDescription, Image
pygmaeum Hilliard[NrEnd]MSDescription, Image
resedoides A.W. HillM
scirpioides A.W. HillM
subaphyllum Engl.N
triflorum L.f.GI
unyikense Engl.T
ussanguense Engl.MS
vahrmeijeri Brenan[NrEnd]GI,M
whyteanum RendleMSImage

Other sources of information about Thesium:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Thesium
Flora of Malawi: Thesium
Flora of Zambia: Thesium
Flora of Zimbabwe: Thesium

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Thesium
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Thesium
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Thesium
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Thesium
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Thesium
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Thesium
JSTOR Plant Science: Thesium
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Thesium
Plants of the World Online: Thesium
Tropicos: Thesium
Wikipedia: Thesium

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Genus page: Thesium.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=504, retrieved 3 October 2023

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