Gyrocarpus americanus Jacq.
subsp. africanus Kubitzki

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Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus

Photo: UJ Staff

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Common names: Propeller tree (English)
Status: Native
Slender, deciduous tree. Bark smooth, grey, often bleaching to a silvery-white on the sunny side. Leaves spirally arranged, crowded near the ends of branches, up to c. 15 × 12 cm, more or less deeply 3-lobed, dark green above, paler greyish below, finely velvety on both surfaces, markedly 3-veined from the base; veins yellowish; petiole up to 9 cm long. Flowers in compact heads, yellowish-green, with an unpleasant smell. Fruit a woody nut with 2 long thin wings, aiding wind dispersal.
Derivation of specific name: americanus: American; the species was originally collected and described from Colombia; africanus: African.
Habitat: In hot, dry areas, often on rocky ridges and hillsides.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Mar - May
Worldwide distribution: (this subsp.) Angola, Eritrea, Namibia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Limpopo, South Africa.
Mozambique distribution: T,MS,GI
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: Saturday 31 January 2009

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 142. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 29.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 219. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 193 - 195. as Gyrocarpus americanus (Includes a picture).

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Page 90. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 237. As Gyrocarpus americanus

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 52 - 53. (Includes a picture).

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 54.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 76.

Stannard, B.L. (1997). Hernandiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(2) Pages 60 - 62. (Includes a picture).

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press.

Other sources of information about Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Caprivi: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Malawi: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Zambia: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus., retrieved 9 December 2023

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