Macaranga mellifera Prain

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Macaranga mellifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Small valley North-east of Mt Binga, Chimanimani Mts

Macaranga mellifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
At waterfall in Muvumodzi River close to junction with Mucandue River, eastern Chimanimani Mts.

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Common names: Mountain macaranga (English) Mountain poplar (English)
Status: Native
Small to medium-sized tree. Leaves spirally arranged, ovate to elliptic-ovate, 8 - 20 cm long, slightly leathery with 2 small crater-like glands at the base above (photo 4) and densely dotted with small golden glands below, 3-5-veined from the base, mostly hairless except for long hairs on the lower part of the midrib; margin more or less closely glandular-dentate; petiole up to 12 cm long, thickened near the base of the leaf. Flowers in branched axillary racemose inflorescences, greenish or creamy-yellow, unisexual, mostly on different trees. Fruit subspherical, c. 4 × 4 mm, pale yellowish-green with several darker green pointed fleshy warts.
Notes: For distinctions between this species and the similar M. capensis, see the species key on the genus page.M. mellifera may also be confused with Croton sylvaticus; see that species for the differences.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In montane forest. It is one of the dominant pioneer species in secondary forest and at forest margins.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Sep - Oct
Worldwide distribution: Only known from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,MS
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 17 June 2009

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 460. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 38.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 252.

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 42.

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Pages 162 - 164. (Includes a picture).

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 37. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Pages 87 - 88.

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 73.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 92.

Other sources of information about Macaranga mellifera:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Macaranga mellifera
Flora of Zimbabwe: Macaranga mellifera

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Macaranga mellifera., retrieved 19 May 2024

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