Dicerocaryum senecioides (Klotzsch) Abels

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Dicerocaryum senecioides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Twentydales Extension, Epworth, Harare

Dicerocaryum senecioides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Twentydales Extension, Epworth, Harare

Dicerocaryum senecioides

Photo: Rob Burrett
Matopo Mission, Eastern Matobo

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

Synonyms: Dicerocaryum zanguebarium (Lour.) Merr.
Pretrea zanguebaria (Lour.) DC.
Common names: Boot protectors (English) Chikada (Shona) Devil thorn (English) Inkunzane (Ndebele) Intekelane (Ndebele) Ruredzo (Shona) Seso (Shona) Soso (Shona) Stud plant (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Prostrate perennial with annual creeping stems, occurring almost throughout Zimbabwe. Stems almost hairless or somewhat pubescent. Leaves opposite, usually narrowly ovate in outline, up to 2.7 cm long, often more or less deeply pinnately lobed; margin coarsely crenate-serrate. Flowers solitary, axillary, very pale to deep pink or mauve, usually with darker spots on the lower lip and in the throat. Fruit broadly elliptic in outline, 16-27 mm long, hairless or slightly pubescent, with 2 erect spines on a distinctly raised upper surface.
Notes: Note 1: this species is very similar to D. eriocarpum, which is much more restricted to the sandy soils of western Zimbabwe. That species differs in the smaller, broadly ovate leaves which are never lobed and almost circular fruits, which are densely covered in hairs, particularly when young.

Note 2: The distinctive fruits, armed with a pair of sharp points, which easily penetrate animal hooves, boots and even car tyres, aiding seed dispersal.
Derivation of specific name: senecioides: resembling a Senecio, reference unclear.
Habitat: Favouring bare ground and poor soils and thus forming a good prevention against soil erosion.
Altitude range: (metres) 1470 - 1650 m
Flowering time:Dec - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,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 13 February 2007

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 121, plate 162

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 91.


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Other sources of information about Dicerocaryum senecioides:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Dicerocaryum senecioides
Flora of Mozambique: Dicerocaryum senecioides

External websites:

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

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: Dicerocaryum senecioides.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=152610, retrieved 25 May 2016

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