Bobgunnia madagascariensis (Desv.) J.H. Kirkbr. & Wiersama

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Bobgunnia madagascariensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Osborne Dan RP

Bobgunnia madagascariensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near the carpark, Cleveland Dam, Harare

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Synonyms: Swartzia madagascariensis Desv.
Common names: Mucherekese (Shona) Snake bean (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Usually a small deciduous tree, 3-4 m in height. Stems and branches often much twisted and contorted; bark dark grey rough and fissured. leaves imparipinnate with 5-11 alternate to subopposite leaflets; leaflets elliptic to obovate, 2.5-7 cm, leathery, dark green and hairless above, yellowish velvety below. Flowers in lax 2-10-flowered sprays, with one large white petal and a mass of orange yellow stamens, sweetly scented. Pod cylindric, up to 30 cm, dark brown to black when ripe, indehiscent.
Notes: The pods are said to be poisonous but this is doubtful as they are readily eaten by cattle without any negative effects.
Derivation of specific name: madagascariensis: from Madagascar, but this is misleading as it does not occur there
Habitat: Deciduous woodland and wooded grassland, often on sandy soils.
Altitude range: (metres) 990 - 1570 m
Flowering time:Sep - Nov
Worldwide distribution: West Africa, D.R. Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Caprivi.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,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 27 January 2007

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 228 - 229. as Swartzia madagascariensis (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 213. as Swartzia madagascariensis

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 82 - 83. as Swartzia madagascariensis (Includes a picture).

Kirkbride, J.H. & Wiersema, J.H. (1997). Bobgunnia, a new African genus of the tribe Swartzieae (Fabaceae, Faboideae) Brittonia 49(1) Page 704.

Smith, P. & Allen, Q. (2004). Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of the Miombo Woodlands Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 1 84246 073 0 Pages 86 - 87. (Includes a picture).

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 22. as Swartzia madagascariensis (Includes a picture).

Sturgeon, K.E. (1954). A Revised List of the Grasses of Southern Rhodesia, Part IV. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal 51(1) Pages 122 - 126. as Swartzia madagascariensis (Includes a picture).

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 213. as Swartzia madagascariensis


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Other sources of information about Bobgunnia madagascariensis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Bobgunnia madagascariensis
Flora of Caprivi: Bobgunnia madagascariensis
Flora of Malawi: Bobgunnia madagascariensis
Flora of Mozambique: Bobgunnia madagascariensis
Flora of Zambia: Bobgunnia madagascariensis

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-15

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2015). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Bobgunnia madagascariensis., retrieved 30 November 2015

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