Ottelia muricata (C.H. Wright) Dandy

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Ottelia muricata

Photo: Christian Bravard
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Ottelia muricata

Photo: Christian Bravard
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Ottelia muricata

Photo: Christian Bravard
Okavango Delta, Botswana

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Synonyms: Boottia aschersoniana Gürke
Boottia muricata C.H. Wright
Common names:
Status: Native
Aquatic herb. All green parts with prickles. Leaves submerged, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, 25-60(-100) cm long, bright green to brownish-green, margin with coarse prickles; petiole not clearly differentiated from blade. Inflorescences unisexual on different plants, appearing above the surface of the water, peduncles up to 125 cm long, bearing coarse prickles. Male spathes up to 12-flowered, subcylindric to ellipsoid-oblong, 25-51 mm long, 2.5-4 times longer than wide, with 7-10 longitudinal ridges, bearing prickles; sepals lanceolate, 10-15 mm long; petals broadly obovate, white with a yellow base and sometimes pinkish veins. Female inflorescences 1-flowered; spathes narrowly cylindric, not inflated, 40-70 mm long, mostly 10-15 times longer than wide, with 6-9 prickly ridges; sepals linear, 13-22 mm long, with purple streaks; petals obovate, white.
Notes: Status: Uncertain. Although it is mentioned for the Northern Division in Flora Zambesiaca Volume 12, part 2: 40 (Symoens, 2009), no specimens are cited. It has, however been recorded from Katombora, on the Zambian side of the Zambezi above Victoria Falls (C.E. Moss 14861, K) so it is likely to also occur on the Zimbabwean side.
Derivation of specific name: muricata: muricate (rough, with sharp tubercles or protuberances)
Habitat: Occurring in water 75 -350 cm deep, at the edges of lakes, in dams, swamps, swamp channels; also in running water, often together with Phragmites and Echinochloa.
Altitude range: (metres) 1000 - 1500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Botswana, DRC (Luapula River), Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: N
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Wednesday 8 December 2010

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 91.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 124.

Symoens, J.J. (2009). Hydrocharitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(2) Pages 39 - 41. (Includes a picture).

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 185.

Other sources of information about Ottelia muricata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ottelia muricata
Flora of Caprivi: Ottelia muricata
Flora of Zambia: Ottelia muricata

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ottelia muricata
African Plant Database: Ottelia muricata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ottelia muricata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ottelia muricata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ottelia muricata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ottelia muricata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ottelia muricata
JSTOR Plant Science: Ottelia muricata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ottelia muricata
Plants of the World Online: Ottelia muricata
Tropicos: Ottelia muricata
Wikipedia: Ottelia muricata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ottelia muricata., retrieved 30 November 2023

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