Calodendrum capense (L.f.) Thunb.

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Calodendrum capense

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp site

Calodendrum capense

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp site

Calodendrum capense

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp site

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

Synonyms: Dictamnus capensis L.f.
Common names: Cape chestnut (English) Umbaba (Ndebele)
Status: Native
Small to large tree. Leaves simple, opposite, more or less broadly elliptic, up to 22 cm long, hairless when mature, translucent gland-dots present, aromatic when crushed, margin entire and wavy. Flowers in dense axillary heads, large and showy; petals narrowly oblanceolate, pale to deep pink, darker purple at the base; staminodes longer than the petals, dotted with crimson glands. Fruit a 5-lobed capsule up to 3.5 cm in diameter, covered in tubercles, yellow-green when young to brown and woody when ripe, dehiscing from the base, valves remaining connected to the stalk at the apex.
Derivation of specific name: capense: of the Cape
Habitat: In montane and riverine forest and densely wooded ravines.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Oct - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Highlands of Ethiopia, south to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa as far as the Western Cape.
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Papilio demodocus demodocus (Food plant)
Papilio nireus lyaeus (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 29 March 2008

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 350. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 11.

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

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 396 - 398. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 248.

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 75.

Mendonça, F. A. (1963). Rutaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(1) Pages 181 - 183. (Includes a picture).

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 28.

Other sources of information about Calodendrum capense:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Calodendrum capense
Flora of Mozambique: Calodendrum capense
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Calodendrum capense

External websites:

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

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: Calodendrum capense., retrieved 16 June 2024

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