Location: Mafinga Mts

General Information

Quarter degree square: Mainly 0933C4 and some 1033A2

Country: Malawi

Habitat: Brachystegia woodland, montane grassland, montane evergreen forest, rocky outcrops and steep gorges.

Altitude range: 1400 - 2250 m

Annual rainfall:

Location (short): A mountain range in the Northwest of the country crossing the border into Zambia.

Location (detailed):


Copied from Dowsett-Lemaire in Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2): 36-37 (1989):

The Mafinga range lies 25-30 km SSW of the Misukus. From a plateau at 1400-1500 m the eastern scarp rises very steeply to the rocky crest at 2000-2250 m (which forms the boundary with Zambia). The aspect of the escarpment varies from north to south. In the southern half (west of Chisenga) where the gradient is steeper, Brachystegia woodland ascends to 1800 m and the forests lie in strips in narrow gorges; the upper altitudinal limit of forest is probably near 1900 m. Further north (near Chambo), the scarp slopes more gently, and broader forest patches lie between smooth ridges of montane grassland, mostly at 1600-1800 m. There are a few groves of Acacia abyssinica on tributary streams at 1650-1750 m. Altogether there are 10 main forest patches: the largest west of Chisenga (32 ha) was explored up to 1750 m, and the three largest in the north (24, 32 and 44 ha) were all seen.
The forests have a somewhat broken canopy and no emergents. The dominant large trees (in the north) are Albizia gummifera, Ficus sur, Macaranga capensis, Parinari excelsa and Prunus africana. At the bottom of Chisenga Gorge (1600 m), Harungana madagascariensis reaches the 25 m high canopy and Syzygium guineense subsp. afromontanum is dominant. Macaranga kilimandscharica appears higher up (1700 m) and overlaps with M. capensis. At that altitude, Canthium sp. (Ecol. 379, 10-12 m tall) is not uncommon in the understorey. The one Malawi record of Teclea simplicifolia comes from shrubby growth near the crest of the northern range, near 2000 m. The fern flora is rather poor, especially in epiphytes; but the epiphytic orchid Aerangis carnea occurs in numbers, and n° 512 perhaps a Diaphananthe, collected live in flower buds which later died), is not uncommon in the northern forest patches, flowering from December.

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Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Location details: Mafinga Mts.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/location-display.php?location_id=215, retrieved 15 June 2024

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