Gyrocarpus americanus Jacq.
subsp. africanus Kubitzki

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Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus

Photo: UJ Staff

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Common names: Mundari (Shona) Propeller tree (English)
Status: Native
Slender, deciduous tree. Bark smooth, grey, often bleaching to a silvery-white on the sunny side. Leaves spirally arranged, crowded near the ends of branches, up to c. 15 × 12 cm, more or less deeply 3-lobed, dark green above, paler greyish below, finely velvety on both surfaces, markedly 3-veined from the base; veins yellowish; petiole up to 9 cm long. Flowers in compact heads, yellowish-green, with an unpleasant smell. Fruit a woody nut with 2 long thin wings, aiding wind dispersal.
Notes: Note: subsp. americanus is widespread in both the Old World and New World tropics but in Africa is only known from Kenya and Tanzania.
Derivation of specific name: americanus: American; the species was originally collected and described from Colombia; africanus: African.
Habitat: In hot, dry areas, often on rocky ridges and hillsides.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1175 m
Flowering time:Mar - May
Worldwide distribution: (this subsp.) Angola, Eritrea, Namibia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Limpopo, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,E,S
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 31 January 2009

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 193 - 195. as Gyrocarpus americanus (Includes a picture).

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Page 90. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 237. As Gyrocarpus americanus

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 76.

Stannard, B.L. (1997). Hernandiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(2) Pages 60 - 62. (Includes a picture).

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press.


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Other sources of information about Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Caprivi: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Mozambique: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Zambia: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus

External websites:

African Plant Database: Gyrocarpus americanus
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Gyrocarpus americanus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gyrocarpus americanus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gyrocarpus americanus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gyrocarpus americanus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Gyrocarpus americanus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gyrocarpus americanus
Ispot Southern Africa : Gyrocarpus americanus
JSTOR Plant Science: Gyrocarpus americanus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gyrocarpus americanus
Tropicos: Gyrocarpus americanus
West African Plants database: Gyrocarpus americanus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus., retrieved 31 May 2016

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