Littonia modesta Hook.

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Littonia modesta

Photo: Darrel Plowes
Umtata, Transkei, Cape

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Synonyms: Gloriosa modesta (Hook.) J.C.Manning & Vinn.
Common names: Butter lily (English) Climbing bell (English) Climbing lily (English)
Status: Cultivated, possibly rarely naturalised
Perennial herb to 2 m, with climbing stems. Leaves in whorls of 3-4, extremely numerous, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate becoming smaller and narrower above; apex drawn out into a tendril to 2 cm long. Flowers axillary, bright yellow or orange, pointing downwards. Pedicel 2.5-5 cm, bent at apex. Sepals and petals 1.7-4 cm long, lanceolate, acute. Style with 3 recurved branches.
Notes: Included in the 'native and naturalised' flora on the strength of one collection by Bob Drummond from Harare.
Derivation of specific name: modesta: modest, unpretentious
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Mozambique, South Africa and Eswatini
Zimbabwe distribution: C
Growth form(s): Climber.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 14 October 2011

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 36 - 37. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. (2009). Colchicaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(2) Page 188.

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 86.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 26 - 27. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Littonia modesta:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Littonia modesta
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Littonia modesta

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Littonia modesta., retrieved 25 May 2024

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