Carissa tetramera (Sacleux) Stapf

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Carissa tetramera

Photo: Theo van der Merwe
Farm Bokplaas, Inhassoro, on the Temane gasfield

Carissa tetramera

Photo: Theo van der Merwe
Farm Bokplaas, Inhassoro, on the Temane gasfield

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Synonyms: Arduina tetramera Sacleux
Common names: Sand num-num (English)
Status: Native
Usually a multi-stemmed shrub up to 3 m tall. Bark pale grey, flaking; branches armed with opposite, forked slender spines up to 5 cm long; all parts with milky sap. Leaves opposite, elliptic, lanceolate, ovate to almost round, up to 6.5 cm long, shiny dark green above, sharply tipped at the apex, sometimes slightly velvety; margin entire. Flowers in terminal clusters or in the axils of the spines, white, often tinged pink, strongly scented; corolla 4-lobed. Fruit ellipsoid, c. 1 cm long, red to purple-black hen ripe, edible.
Derivation of specific name: tetramera: in four parts, referring to the flowers.
Habitat: In dry open woodland.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Oct - May
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Tanzania,Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 21 October 2014

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 25.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 268.

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Kupicha, F.K. et al. (1985). Apocynaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(2) Pages 400 - 401.


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Other sources of information about Carissa tetramera:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Carissa tetramera

External websites:

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

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: Carissa tetramera., retrieved 11 December 2016

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