Andrachne ovalis Müll. Arg.

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Andrachne ovalis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cecil Kop NR, Mutare

Andrachne ovalis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cecil Kop NR, Mutare

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Common names: False lightning-bush (English) Insecticide-root (English)
Status: Native
Usually a shrub but occasionally a small tree. Leaves alternate along long slender branches, ovate to ovate-elliptic, 2-6 cm, hairless; midrib visible but lateral veining obscure; margins entire. Flowers axillary, unisexual on the same tree, greenish-white with translucent petals; male flowers in small clusters; female flowers solitary on long stalks. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule, c. 10 mm in diameter, dehiscent.
Notes: The roots are used as an insecticide against fleas and lice, and a snake-bite remedy.
Derivation of specific name: ovalis: oval, elliptic
Habitat: In the understorey and along the margins of forest.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Nov - Jan
Worldwide distribution: From the the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Eswatini to E Zimbabwe, and adjacent areas in Mozambique (?).
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
Images last updated: Monday 24 March 2008

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 250.

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 40.

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Pages 27 - 28. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Andrachne ovalis:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Andrachne ovalis

External websites:

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

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: Andrachne ovalis., retrieved 19 May 2024

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