Vernonia amygdalina Delile

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Vernonia amygdalina

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

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Synonyms: Gymnanthemum amygdalinum (Delile) Sch. Bip. ex Walp.
Vernonia randii S. Moore
Common names: Bitter-tea vernonia (English) Dembezeko (Shona) Inyathelo (Ndebele) Musikavakadzi (Shona) Muzhozho (Shona) Nyareru (Shona) Tree vernonia (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Description:
Shrub or small tree. The leaves are lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, usually about 4 times as long as wide, glabrous or with sparse hairs; petiole short, up to 2 cm; net-veining conspicuous; margin entire or finely toothed. Capitula forming clusters up to 15 cm, creamy white, occasionally tinged with mauve; sweetly scented, particularly at night. The small fruits have both small glands and hairs as well as a pappus of bristly hairs.
Notes: Very similar to Vernonia colorata. The only reliable way to separate these two species is to examine the achenes (this also works with the ovaries when the plants are in flower) with a lens. If papillae only are present on the body of the achene, it is V. colorata; if both papillae and hairs are present, then it is V. amygdalina. V. colorata appears to be a plant of generally drier areas at lower altitudes whereas V. amygdalina occurs in higher rainfall areas at higher altitudes.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In open woodland, riverine fringes and in grassland near water.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1700 m
Flowering time:May - Sep
Worldwide distribution:
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: Estigmene linea (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Literature:

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Other sources of information about Vernonia amygdalina:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Vernonia amygdalina
Flora of Zambia: Vernonia amygdalina

External websites:

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


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-14

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2014). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Vernonia amygdalina.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=158120, retrieved 19 September 2014

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