Striga forbesii Benth.

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Striga forbesii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road road from Chitengo to Pungwe River, Gorongosa National Park

Striga forbesii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road road from Chitengo to Pungwe River, Gorongosa National Park

Striga forbesii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road road from Chitengo to Pungwe River, 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: Buchnera forbesii (Benth.) D. Dietr.
Common names: Giant Maize Witchweed (English)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Sparsely branched, erect, annual herb, up to c. 75 cm tall but usually much shorter. Leaves opposite, sessile, lanceolate, 2-4(7) cm long, 3-veined from the base; margin coarsely toothed, recurved, roughly hairy. Flowers in open racemes, opposite or alternate. Bracts leaf-like, up to 2 cm long. Calyx tube 5-9 mm long; lobes lanceolate, as long as the tube, with rough hairs on the veins. Corolla salmon-pink, glandular pubescent; tube c 2 cm long, bent near the top; lower lobes obovate 7-11 mm long, mid lobe longest; upper lobe distinctly emarginate. Capsule oblong, flattened, shorter than the calyx tube, rounded at the apex.
Notes: A root parasite of grasses and is occasionally found on maize and sorghum.
Derivation of specific name: forbesii: named after John Forbes (1799-1823), an English plant collector and naturalist. As representative of the Horticultural Society of London he visited the Cape in 1822. He died on the Zambezi River in Mozambique the following year
Habitat: In floodplain grassland, often on cracking clay.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, South Africa and Madagascar.
Mozambique distribution: Z,M
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 30 August 2014

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 183. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 53.

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 79. Under Scrophulariaceae

Philcox, D. (1990). Scrophulariaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(2) Pages 131 - 133. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 105.

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 98. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Striga forbesii:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Striga forbesii
Flora of Caprivi: Striga forbesii
Flora of Malawi: Striga forbesii
Flora of Zambia: Striga forbesii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Striga forbesii

External websites:

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

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: Striga forbesii., retrieved 25 March 2023

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