Morella pilulifera (Rendle) Killick

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Morella pilulifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Western slope Mt Shangani, eastern Chimanimani Mts.

Morella pilulifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Western slope Mt Shangani, eastern Chimanimani Mts.

Morella pilulifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Western slope Mt Shangani, eastern Chimanimani Mts.

Morella pilulifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Western slope Mt Shangani, eastern Chimanimani Mts.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Myrica pilulifera Rendle
Common names: Broad-leaved waxberry (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Leaves elliptic to obovate, usually c. 7 × 3 cm, yellowish-green, leathery, velvety when young, becoming glabrescent later, lateral veins ridged, Y-shaped near the margin; margin entire or coarsely serrate. Flowers in catkin-like inflorescences, sexes separate on the same tree or on different trees. Fruit in dense clusters of small brown to black berries along the branches, c. 4-5 mm in diameter, spherical, coated in waxy substance.
Derivation of specific name: pilulifera: bearing small balls, glands or globular structures; probably referring to the fruit
Habitat: Near streams, among rocks, on grassy hills and along the margins of forest.
Altitude range: 1050 - 2070 m
Flowering time:Jul - Sep
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa as far as the KwaZulu-Natal
Mozambique distribution: Z,T,MS
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 29 July 2016

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 64. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 124.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 233. As Myrica pilulifera

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 63.

Polhill, R.M. & Verdcourt, B. (2006). Myricaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(3) Pages 260 - 261.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 3. as Myrica pilulifera

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 125.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 96.

Other sources of information about Morella pilulifera:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Morella pilulifera
Flora of Zimbabwe: Morella pilulifera

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Morella pilulifera
African Plant Database: Morella pilulifera
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Morella pilulifera
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Morella pilulifera
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Morella pilulifera
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Morella pilulifera
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Morella pilulifera
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Morella pilulifera
iNaturalist: Morella pilulifera
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Morella pilulifera
JSTOR Plant Science: Morella pilulifera
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Morella pilulifera
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Morella pilulifera
Plants of the World Online: Morella pilulifera
The Plant List (version 1.1): Morella pilulifera
Tropicos: Morella pilulifera
Wikipedia: Morella pilulifera

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Morella pilulifera., retrieved 18 January 2020

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