Curtisia dentata (Burm. f.) C.A. Sm.

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Curtisia dentata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Plateau below Nhandore peak, Mt Gorongosa

Curtisia dentata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Plateau below Nhandore peak, Mt Gorongosa

Curtisia dentata

Photo: Stefaan Dondeyne

Curtisia dentata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Gorongosa

Curtisia dentata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Gorongosa

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

Synonyms: Curtisia faginea Aiton
Common names: Assegai tree (English)
Status: Native
Medium-sized tree. Bark dark and fissured in square patches; young branches covered in dense rusty brown hairs. Leaves opposite, ovate to broadly elliptic, up to c. 10 cm long, leathery, shiny dark green above, light green and covered in woolly hairs below; veining conspicuous below, covered in dense rusty brown hairs; apex sharply pointed; margin strongly toothed. Flowers small and inconspicuous in branched terminal heads, up to 12 cm long, cream, covered in soft, light grey hairs. Fruit subspherical, fleshy, c. 10 mm in diameter, white, turning red when ripe, crowned with the calyx remains.
Derivation of specific name: dentata: toothed, dentate
Habitat: In montane evergreen forest and along the margins of forest and montane grassland.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Oct - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern and Western Cape Provinces) and Eswatini.
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: Tuesday 31 May 2022

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 725. (Includes a picture).

Cannon, J.F.M. (1978). Cornaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 635 - 637. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 18.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 265.

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 37.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 60. as Curtisia faginea

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 91.

Other sources of information about Curtisia dentata:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: Curtisia dentata

External websites:

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

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: Curtisia dentata., retrieved 7 June 2023

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