Cladostemon kirkii (Oliv.) Pax & Gilg

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Cladostemon kirkii

Photo: Darrel Plowes
Dott's Drift, Chisumbanje, Save Valley

Cladostemon kirkii

Photo: Darrel Plowes
Dott's Drift, Chisumbanje, Save Valley

Cladostemon kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Tembwahata pans, Gona-rhezou National Park.

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Synonyms: Cladostemon paxianus Gilg
Common names: Three-finger bush (English) Tonga-kierie (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Leaves 3-foliolate with ovate to obovate leaflets, shiny green, thinly textured. Flowers in terminal or axillary, branched inflorescences, white with pink veins, turning yellow with age, sweetly scented, distinctly asymmetric with 2 upper petals much larger than the lower; stamens fused to form a structure up to 15 cm long. Fruit conspicuous c. 8 cm, pendulous on a long, sharply bent, jointed stalk.
Derivation of specific name: kirkii: named after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: In open woodland and scrub in hot areas, often on sandy soils.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Sep - Nov
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: N,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: Thursday 7 September 2006

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

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 65.


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Other sources of information about Cladostemon kirkii:

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Flora of Malawi: Cladostemon kirkii
Flora of Mozambique: Cladostemon kirkii
Flora of Zambia: Cladostemon kirkii

External websites:

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

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: Cladostemon kirkii., retrieved 28 May 2016

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