Cadaba aphylla (Thunb.) Wild

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Synonyms: Cleome aphylla Thunb.
Common names: Leafless wormbush (English)
Status: Native
Leafless shrub or small tree, often forming a tangled shrubby mass. Branches semi-succulent, green, hairless, often spine-tipped. Leaves absent except on seedling and very young branchlets, c. 10 × 2 mm. Flowers in few-flowered axillary clusters; sepals red; petals absent; stamens red, fused onto a long androgynophore. Fruit cylindrical, up to 90 × 7 mm, slightly constricted, hairless.
Derivation of specific name: aphylla: without leaves
Habitat: Occurring in very dry, semidesert scrub.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 700 m
Flowering time:Aug - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 238.

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 32.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 44.

Wild, H. (1960). Capparaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1) Pages 207 - 209. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Cadaba aphylla:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cadaba aphylla

External websites:

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

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: Cadaba aphylla., retrieved 25 February 2024

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