Striga gesnerioides (Willd.) Vatke

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Striga gesnerioides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Forested slopes of Nhagutua Gorge, Gorongosa National Park, Cheringoma

Striga gesnerioides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Forested slopes of Nhagutua Gorge, Gorongosa National Park, Cheringoma

Striga gesnerioides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Forested slopes of Nhagutua Gorge, Gorongosa National Park, Cheringoma

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Synonyms: Buchnera gesneroides Willd.
Buchnera orobanchoides R. Br.
Striga orobanchoides (R. Br.) Benth.
Common names: Cowpea witchweed (English) Tobacco witchweed (English)
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Native
Tufted, erect annual or perennial, parasitic herb, 10-35 cm tall, growing from a tuber-like haustorium up to c. 3 cm in diameter. Stems branching from the base, somewhat succulent, 4-angled, greenish-yellow or reddish-purple. Leaves scale-like, appressed to the stems, 5-10 mm long, minutely hairy or almost hairless, greenish-yellow or reddish-purple. Flowers opposite or alternate, 2-3 per node. Bracts of similar length as the calyx. Calyx 5-ribbed, 4-8 mm long with linear teeth. Corolla from pale or pink to dark purple.
Notes: Mostly a root parasite on legumes such as Indigofera, Tephrosia and Vigna but also on grasses and other plants.
Derivation of specific name: gesnerioides: resembling a species of Gesneria, a genus of plants, mostly native to the Caribbean Islands.
Habitat: In woodland, grassland and cultivated ground.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Dec - Jun
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa and Asia.
Mozambique distribution: N,T,MS
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 25 May 2013

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Pages 183 - 184. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 128 - 129. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 34.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 195. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 328. (Includes a picture).

Philcox, D. (1990). Scrophulariaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(2) Page 131.

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

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 226.

Wild, H. (undated, c. 1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds ?Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 99. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Striga gesnerioides:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Striga gesnerioides
African Plant Database: Striga gesnerioides
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Striga gesnerioides
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Striga gesnerioides
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Striga gesnerioides
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Striga gesnerioides
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Striga gesnerioides
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Striga gesnerioides
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Striga gesnerioides
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Striga gesnerioides
JSTOR Plant Science: Striga gesnerioides
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Striga gesnerioides
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Striga gesnerioides
The Plant List (version 1.1): Striga gesnerioides
Tropicos: Striga gesnerioides

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Striga gesnerioides., retrieved 18 June 2019

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