3504.000 Brachystegia Benth.

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007) Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2)

Hoyle, A.C. (1967) Brachystegia (in the Leguminosae subfamily Caesalpinioideae) Flora of Tropical East Africa

Description of the genus

Trees, mostly c. 10−20 m, but often with dwarf forms over shallow soils, plus a small number of suffrutices, rare in Zambia; bark mostly rough, smooth in a few species; leaves paripinnate, leaflets in 2-numerous pairs; though variable within species, the leaves provide the most reliable features for identifying the species; flowers in spikes or panicles, mostly terminal and axillary, occasionally on second year wood; sepals much reduced, petals rudimentary or absent; ovary pubescent but pod always glabrous; pod woody, oblong to obovate, with flanges along the top (ventral) suture.

Comment: In this account of Brachystegia we have not followed in full Chikuni’s treatment of the genus in Brummitt et al. (2007) and specifically, we have:

(a) restored glaucescens and microphylla as valid species;

(b) reverted torrei from a subspecies to a full species;

(c) treated the glaucescens/spiciformis hybrids and the spiciformis/microphylla hybrids as separate entities (pending further research).

A paper entitled An investigation into the status of the putative hybrid (Brachystegia spiciformis Benth. × Brachystegia glaucescens Hutch. & Burtt Davy) in the miombo woodlands of South-central Africa is to be presented by Meg Coates Palgrave & Cathy Sharp at AETFAT later this year.

Worldwide: 30 species in tropical Africa, 13 species in the Flora Zambesiaca region, 13 species in Zambia.

Zimbabwe: 3 cultivated taxa.

Insects associated with this genus:
Eucraera gemmata (Budded lappet) Food plant
Brachystegia spiciformis

Links to cultivated taxa    View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesContent
boehmii Taub.Description, Image
glaucescens Hutch. & Burtt DavyDescription, Image
spiciformis Benth.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Brachystegia:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Brachystegia
Flora of Malawi: Brachystegia
Flora of Mozambique: Brachystegia
Flora of Zambia: Brachystegia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Brachystegia

External websites:

ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Brachystegia
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Brachystegia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Brachystegia
Wikipedia: Brachystegia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Brachystegia
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Brachystegia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: genus page: Brachystegia.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/genus.php?genus_id=682, retrieved 22 October 2020

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