Xerophyta argentea (Wild) L.B. Sm. & Ayensu

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Xerophyta argentea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Hadange Gorge, Chimanimani National Park

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Synonyms: Vellozia argentea Wild
Common names:
Status: Native
Shrubby herb, sometimes even resembling a small tree, 0.3-4 m tall. Stem simple or sparsely branched, up to 25 cm thick. Leaves in tufts of 3-7 and the fibrous branch-ends, linear up to 40 cm long, densely silvery covered in appressed hairs below; margin entire. Flowers on a brownish peduncle up to 16.5 cm long, 1-4 at the ends of fibrous branches, blue, pale purple or pinkish, showy but short-lived; ovary obconical densely covered with purplish, tuberculate glands.
Derivation of specific name: argentea: silvery
Habitat: In rocky grassland or quartzite crags on the edges of cliffs.
Altitude range: (metres) 1500 - 2150 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Restricted to the Chimanimani Mountains of Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status: Near Endemic
Red data list status: Lower Risk - near threatened
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Wednesday 20 January 2010

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 46. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 59.

Darbyshire, I., Timberlake, J., Osborne, J., Rokni, S., Matimele, H., Langa. C., Datizua, C., de Sousa, C., Alves, T., Massingue, A., Hadj-Hammou, J., Dhanda, S., Shah, T., Wursten, B. (2019). The endemic plants of Mozambique: diversity and conservation status Phytotaxa 136 Page 78.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 232.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 177.

Gonçalves, A.E. (2009). Velloziaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(2) Page 171.

Mapaura, A. (2002). Endemic Plant Species of Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(1) Page 131.

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 112.

Wild, H. (1964). The endemic species of the Chimanimani Mountains and their significance Kirkia 4 Pages 135 - 136. Protologue as Vellozia argentea

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 86.

Other sources of information about Xerophyta argentea:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Xerophyta argentea

External websites:

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

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: Xerophyta argentea.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=115230, retrieved 26 February 2024

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