Piliostigma thonningii (Schumach.) Milne-Redh.

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Piliostigma thonningii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Fern Valley Dam, Mutare

Piliostigma thonningii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Osborne Dam

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Synonyms: Bauhinia thonningii Schumach.
Common names: Camel-foot (English) Ihabahaba (Ndebele) Monkey bread (English) Mubaba (Shona) Muhuku (Shona) Musakasa (Shona) Musekesa (Shona) Mutukutu (Shona)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Unarmed trees. Leaves simple, conspicuously 2-lobed with rust-coloured indumentum beneath. Flowers medium to small, unisexual in racemes or panicles, white or pinkish tinged. Calyx with turbinate tube and 4-5 short lobes. Petals 5. Fertile stamens 10 in male flowers, reduced to staminodes in female flowers. Female flowers with stigma sessile on the ovary. Pods indehiscent, linear to oblong, woody, many-seeded.
Notes: Differs from similar species in Bauhinia by the unisexual flowers and the indehiscent pods.
Derivation of specific name: thonningii: after Peter Thonning (1775 - 1848), a botanical collector
Habitat: In woodland and wooded grassland.
Altitude range: (metres) 490 - 1550 m
Flowering time:Dec - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa and extending to South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 24 January 2006

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2) Pages 30 - 32. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 121. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 262. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 29.

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 115 - 118. (Includes a picture).

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 216 - 217. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 213.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 243.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 74 - 75. as Bauhinia thonningii (Includes a picture).

Kamumvuri, G. (ed.) (2004). Plants of Zimbabwe Report No. 1 National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Pages 25 - 26. as Bauhinia thonningii (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 44.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 70.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 18. as Bauhinia thonningii (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 209.

Other sources of information about Piliostigma thonningii:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Piliostigma thonningii
Flora of Caprivi: Piliostigma thonningii
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Piliostigma thonningii
Flora of Malawi: Piliostigma thonningii
Flora of Mozambique: Piliostigma thonningii
Flora of Zambia: Piliostigma thonningii

External websites:

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

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: Piliostigma thonningii.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=126830, retrieved 30 May 2024

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