Vitex payos (Lour.) Merr.

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Vitex payos

Photo: Bart Wursten

Vitex payos

Photo: Bart Wursten

Vitex payos

Photo: Bart Wursten

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Vitex eylesii S. Moore
Common names: Chikubai (Shona) Chikubvusike (Shona) Chocolate berry (English) Mudyagava (Shona) Muhubva (Shona) Muhubvu (Shona) Mukubvu (Shona) Mutsere (Shona) Mutsubvu (Shona) Umtshwankela (Ndebele)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Bark distinctive, grey-brown, deeply fissured vertically (photo left). Leaves opposite, digitately compound, densely covered with hairs, bright green above, pale yellowish below. Flowers in small axillary heads, white with a deep mauve centre and lower lip. Fruit fleshy, shiny black, ovoid to subspherical, cupped in the persistent calyx.
Derivation of specific name: payos: uncertain. It has been suggested that it refers to the Payosi River, a small tributary of the Zambesi, where the type may have been collected.
Habitat: In open woodland and wooded grassland, particularly on rocky slopes.
Altitude range: (metres) 980 - 1590 m
Flowering time:Nov - Feb
Worldwide distribution: East Africa southwards to Zimbabwe and Mozambique
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: Wednesday 16 August 2006

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 430 - 433. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 272.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 198 - 199. (Includes a picture).

Paton, A.J. et al. (2013). Lamiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(8) Pages 86 - 87.

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 216.


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Other sources of information about Vitex payos:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Vitex payos
Flora of Mozambique: Vitex payos
Flora of Zambia: Vitex payos

External websites:

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

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: Vitex payos., retrieved 28 October 2016

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