Stephania abyssinica (Quart.-Dill. & A. Rich.) Walp.
var. abyssinica

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Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Leopard Rock Game Reserve, Vumba

Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

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Synonyms: Clypea abyssinica Dill. & Rich.
Common names:
Frequency: Fairly frequent
Status: Native
Twining liane, woody at the base. The leaves are broadly ovate to suborbicular and strongly peltate; flowers in false compound umbels, axillary, sexes separate but similar.
Notes: Two varieties are recognised, both widespread and occurring in the same habitats. Var. abyssinica has young branchlets, petioles, undersides of leaves and inflorescences glabrous, while these parts are more or less densely pubescent or tomentose in var. tomentella (Oliv.) Diels.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinica: of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia)
Habitat: In open and wooded grassland, preferring moist and shady places near rivers or swamps.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Subsaharan Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 210. as Stephania abyssinica (Includes a picture).

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 88.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 24. As Stephania abyssinica

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 62.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 79. As Stephania abyssinica

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 122.

Troupin, G. (1960). Menispermaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1) Pages 162 - 171. (Includes a picture).

Troupin, G. (1962). Monographie des Menispermaceae africaines Mémoires in-8° Nouvelle série XIII-2 Académie royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer Pages 247 - 251.

Other sources of information about Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica
Flora of Mozambique: Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica
Flora of Zambia: Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica

External websites:

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

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: Stephania abyssinica var. abyssinica., retrieved 1 December 2023

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