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

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).

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

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 gesnerioides., retrieved 2 December 2023

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