Celosia trigyna L.

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Celosia trigyna

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam

Celosia trigyna

Photo: Bart Wursten
Hot Springs, Save Valley

Celosia trigyna

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam

Celosia trigyna

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr foot of Valley of the Kings, nr main rd

Celosia trigyna

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr foot of Valley of the Kings, nr main rd

Celosia trigyna

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chesa Forest Reserve, Umguza District.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Celosia digyna Suess.
Common names: Silver spinach (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Erect annual herb with simple or branched stems, reaching up to 1 m but often much smaller. Unusual crescent-shaped stipule-like leaves are borne on the stem (at least when young) as well as the ordinary leaves.
Notes: Young leaves and shoots are cooked as a vegetable but they need to be cooked for a long time and are mostly mixed with other foods to disguise the bitter taste.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: A weed in cultivated and disturbed places, in grassland and woodland and on rocky ground where it is often small and depauperate (see photo). It also occurs along water courses where it may be semi-aquatic.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 2000 m
Flowering time:Mar - Jul
Worldwide distribution: Throughout tropical Africa, Namibia and South Africa; also Arabia and Madeira; a weed in Florida
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 23 February 2017

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 7.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 20.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 336. (Includes a picture).

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 16.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 22. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2011). Wild flowers, Waterplants and Grasses of the Okavango Delta and Kalahari "Did You Know" nature series Struik Nature for Veronica Roodt Publications Page 9. Note that the illustration with this species is NOT of Celosia trigyna but of a species in Pupalia.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 21.

Townsend, C.C. (1988). Amaranthaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(1) Pages 31 - 33.

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 30. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 87.

Other sources of information about Celosia trigyna:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Celosia trigyna
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Celosia trigyna
Flora of Malawi: Celosia trigyna
Flora of Mozambique: Celosia trigyna
Flora of Zambia: Celosia trigyna

External websites:

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

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: Celosia trigyna.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=122060, retrieved 30 November 2023

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