Cassipourea malosana (Baker) Alston

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Cassipourea malosana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Magorogodo hills, Zomba Community

Cassipourea malosana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Survey Plot 3, Magorogodo hills, Zomba Community

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Synonyms: Cassipourea congoensis sensu auct.
Cassipourea elliottii (Engl.) Alston
Cassipourea gerrardii (Schinz) Alston
Weihea gerrardii Schinz
Common names: Onionwood (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small evergreen tree with a slender, straight stem and horizontal branches. Bark greyish-brown, smooth when young, darker and rough on older trees. Leaves opposite, elliptic, ovate to obovate, up to 14 × 5 cm, bright to dark glossy green above, paler below, leathery, hairless; margins toothed with forward facing teeth. Interstipular scar present but stipules fall early. Flowers yellowish-green in small, dense axillary clusters along the branches. Fruit an ovoid capsule, c. 10 mm, thinly fleshy, velvety, orange when young, drying to black.
Derivation of specific name: malosana: of Mt Malosa, near Zomba in southern Malawi.
Habitat: In and along the margins of montane evergreen forest.
Altitude range: 750 - 2200 m
Flowering time:Sep - Jan
Worldwide distribution: From Ethiopia south to Eswatini and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Mozambique distribution: Z,MS
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 234. (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 660. (Includes a picture).

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

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 788.

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 18.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 262. As Cassipourea congoensis

Gonçalves, A.E. & Torre, A.R. (1979). 62. Rhizophoraceae Flora de Moçambique Junta de Investigaçoes de Ultramar, Centro de Botanica Pages 12 - 14.

Lewis, J. (1956). Rhizophoraceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 11 - 12.

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 70.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 454 - 455. (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 Page 158.

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 75.

Torre, A. & Gonçalves, M. L. (1978). Rhizophoraceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 95 - 96.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Page 294. (Includes a picture).

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Pages 447 - 449. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 98.

Other sources of information about Cassipourea malosana:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cassipourea malosana
Flora of Malawi: Cassipourea malosana
Flora of Zambia: Cassipourea malosana
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cassipourea malosana

External websites:

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

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: Cassipourea malosana., retrieved 30 November 2023

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