Spirostachys africana Sond.

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Spirostachys africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chitengo Camp, Gorongosa National Park

Spirostachys africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chitengo Camp, Gorongosa National Park

Spirostachys africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chitengo Camp, Gorongosa National Park

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

Synonyms: Excoecaria africana (Sond.) Müll.
Common names: n'cuniti (Sena) Tamboti (English)
Status: Native
Medium-sized deciduous tree with a rounded crown. Bark dark grey to blackish, rough, cracking in rectangular pieces; milky latex present. Leaves spirally arranged, elliptic to ovate, up to 7 cm long, dull green, hairless or slightly hairy; base with 2 small glands at the junction with the petiole; margins shallowly crenate. Flowers unisexual on the same tree, in catkin like spikes, deep red. Fruit 3-lobed, c. 6 × 13 mm, yellowish, dehiscent.
Derivation of specific name: africana: African
Habitat: In deciduous woodland, often along rivers and streams.
Altitude range: Up to 1350 m
Flowering time:Sep - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS,M
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: Saturday 21 April 2012

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 469. As Spirostachys africanus (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 253.

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 43.

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Pages 313 - 315. (Includes a picture).

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 294 - 297. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 58.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 25.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 38.

Other sources of information about Spirostachys africana:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Spirostachys africana
Flora of Zimbabwe: Spirostachys africana

External websites:

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

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: Spirostachys africana.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=135700, retrieved 29 March 2023

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