Maerua prittwitzii Gilg & Gilg-Ben.

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Maerua prittwitzii

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road from Sinamatella to Mandavu Dam, Hwange NP

Maerua prittwitzii

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road from Sinamatella to Mandavu Dam, Hwange NP

Maerua prittwitzii

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road from Sinamatella to Mandavu Dam, Hwange NP

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

Synonyms: Maerua rhodesiana Wild
Common names: Kakonka (Tonga: Zimbabwe) Woolly-fruit bush-cherry (English)
Status: Native
Suffrutex, shrub or small tree up to c. 6 m tall. Bark dark grey. Leaves mostly trifoliolate with upper leaves simple; leaflets broadly elliptic to ovate, up to 12 × 6 cm, terminal leaflet usually twice as long as lateral leaflets, greyish-green with sunken veins above, veins prominent below; apex with a hair-like tip; margin entire; petiole up to 4 cm long. Flowers in short dense terminal racemes; sepals green, hairy on the outside; petals present, white; stamens c. 30, c. 2 cm long. Fruit slightly ovoid, c. 2.2 cm in diameter, strongly knobbly and finely woolly, pale brown.
Notes: Although consistently described as a shrub or small tree in literature many records known from Zimbabwe show this plant as a low growing suffrutex, often less than 50 cm tall with mostly simple leaves.
Derivation of specific name: prittwitzii: named after Georg von Prittwitz und Gaffron (1861-1936), who studied geography, geology, botany, and mineralogy and participated in exploration of German East Africa in 1893-1894.
Habitat: In hot and dry woodland or in miombo woodland but only on termite mounds.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1200 m
Flowering time:Oct - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 22 October 2015

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 235.

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.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 38.

Wild, H. (1960). Capparaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1) Pages 220 - 221. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Maerua prittwitzii:

Our websites:

Flora of Zambia: Maerua prittwitzii

External websites:

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

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: Maerua prittwitzii., retrieved 19 June 2024

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