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).

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).

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
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Gyrocarpus americanus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gyrocarpus americanus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gyrocarpus americanus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gyrocarpus americanus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gyrocarpus americanus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gyrocarpus americanus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Gyrocarpus americanus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gyrocarpus americanus
JSTOR Plant Science: Gyrocarpus americanus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gyrocarpus americanus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gyrocarpus americanus
The Plant List (version 1.1): Gyrocarpus americanus
Tropicos: Gyrocarpus americanus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus., retrieved 23 May 2019

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