Catha edulis (Vahl) Forssk. ex Endl.

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Catha edulis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, Mutare

Catha edulis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, Mutare

Catha edulis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Globe Rock, Vumba

Catha edulis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Globe Rock, Vumba

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Synonyms: Celastrus edulis Vahl
Common names: Bushman's tea (English) Khat (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small to medium-sized unarmed tree with drooping leaves and branches. Bark grey, cracking in older specimens, revealing a yellowish pigment. Young branchlets and petioles often pinkish-red. Leaves opposite on older branches, alternate or spiralled on young branchlets, more or less narrowly elliptic, 5.5-12 cm, glossy green above, paler below, rather leathery with more than 10 pairs of lateral veins at a sharp angle to the midrib; margin with small, gland-tipped teeth. Flowers in small axillary clusters pale yellow to whitish-green. Fruit an oblong 3-lobed capsule, c. 1 cm, reddish-brown when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: edulis: edible
Habitat: Along the margins of forest, in woodland and on rocky hillsides, often as a pioneer in cleared areas.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Mainly Aug - Nov
Worldwide distribution: From Ethiopia through the eastern side of Africa to the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Mozambique distribution: 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: Thursday 25 June 2009

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 125. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 496. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 7.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 19.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 255.

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 33.

Robson, N.K.B. (1966). Celastraceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 381 - 382. (Includes a picture).

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 41.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 66.

Other sources of information about Catha edulis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Catha edulis
Flora of Zambia: Catha edulis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Catha edulis

External websites:

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

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: Catha edulis., retrieved 30 November 2020

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