Hydnora abyssinica A. Braun ex Schweinf.

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Hydnora abyssinica

Photo: Cathy Sharp
Nr Mvuma

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Synonyms: Hydnora africana sensu Eyles
Hydnora johannis Becc.
Hydnora solmsiana Dinter
Common names:
Frequency: Local
Status: Native
A subterranean root parasite, lacking chlorophyll. The plant body is rhizome-like, leaves are absent. The flowers are solitary, appearing above ground as a tube with the fleshy calyx lobes meeting. They soon separate, revealing the red and white cross structure in the photo. The flowers are foul smelling and visited by beetles. The fruits are brown and subterranean.
Notes: The fruits are sweet tasting and eaten by animals and people. The roots are used as a medicine for diarrhoea and to stop haemorrhaging. The species mostly parasitises Acacia spp. Plants may be more common than recorded, as they are only visible when flowering.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinica: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Habitat: In woodland
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Nov - Dec
Worldwide distribution:
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

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 54.

Musselman, L.J. (1997). Hydnoraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(2) Pages 17 - 18. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 77. as Hydnora africana and Hydnora johannis

Other sources of information about Hydnora abyssinica:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Hydnora abyssinica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Hydnora abyssinica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Hydnora abyssinica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Hydnora abyssinica
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Hydnora abyssinica
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Hydnora abyssinica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Hydnora abyssinica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Hydnora abyssinica
iNaturalist: Hydnora abyssinica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Hydnora abyssinica
JSTOR Plant Science: Hydnora abyssinica
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Hydnora abyssinica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Hydnora abyssinica
Plants of the World Online: Hydnora abyssinica
Tropicos: Hydnora abyssinica
Wikipedia: Hydnora abyssinica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Hydnora abyssinica.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=121680, retrieved 4 October 2022

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