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Photo: Bart Wursten
Photo: Bart Wursten
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford
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Purple bersama (English)
Description: Small to medium-sized evergreen tree. Leaves pinnate with 1 to 3 pairs of leaflets and a terminal leaflet, sometimes appearing 3-foliolate. Flowers in conspicuous racemes, greenish to cream at first, turning pink to purple with age. Fruit a spherical capsule, wrinkled, splitting into 4 valves, revealing bright orange and yellow seeds.
Notes: The plant is said to be poisonous to life-stock.
Derivation of specific name:
swynnertonii: named after Charles Francis Massey Swynnerton (1877-1938), well-known naturalist, who first recorded and collected many species of flora and fauna in and around the Chirinda Forest
Habitat: Edges of evergreen and riverine forest
Altitude range: (metres)
1070 - 1660 m
Flowering time: Nov - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and adjacent areas of Mozambique
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status: Near Endemic
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species:
Display spot characters for this species
A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Drummond, R.B. (1975). Kirkia 10(1) Page 257.
Shone, D.K. & Drummond, R.B. (1965). Poisonous Plants of Rhodesia Ministry of Agriculture, Rhodesia Pages 40 - 41. (Includes a picture). Comments
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Other sources of information about Bersama swynnertonii: Our websites: Flora of Mozambique
Bersama swynnertonii External websites: African Plant Database
Bersama swynnertonii Biodiversity Explorer
(Biodiversity of southern Africa):
Bersama swynnertonii EOL
(Encyclopedia of Life):
Bersama swynnertonii ePIC
(electronic Plant Information Center):
Bersama swynnertonii Flora Zambesiaca
Bersama swynnertonii Google
(Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for
Bersama swynnertonii IPNI
(International Plant Names Index):
Bersama swynnertonii Ispot Southern Africa
Bersama swynnertonii JSTOR Plant Science
Bersama swynnertonii Kew Herbarium catalogue
Bersama swynnertonii Tropicos
Bersama swynnertonii West African Plants database
Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16
Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M.
Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Bersama swynnertonii.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=137580, retrieved 30 May 2016
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