Pterocelastrus echinatus N.E. Br.

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Pterocelastrus echinatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Chinaka, Juliasdale

Pterocelastrus echinatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Chinaka, Juliasdale

Pterocelastrus echinatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Chinaka, Juliasdale

Pterocelastrus echinatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Chinaka, Juliasdale

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

Synonyms: Gymnosporia nyasica Burtt Davy & Hutch.
Pterocelastrus galpinii Loes.
Pterocelastrus rehmannii Davison
Pterocelastrus rostratus sensu auct.
Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus sunsu Goodier & Phipps in Kirkia 1: 58 (1961) non (Lam.) Walp.
Pterocelastrus variabilis sensu Sim
Common names: Hedgehog-tree (English) White candlewood (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Bark pale grey or brownish, revealing bright orange underbark on young stems; young branchlets angular, reddish. leaves spirally arranged, oblong-elliptic to ovate or lanceolate, 3-9 cm long, somewhat thickly leathery, somewhat dark, glossy green above, paler beneath, hairless; margin entire, often sloghtly rolled under; petiole up to 8 mm long, sometimes reddish with colour running into the midrib. Flowers small, white to cream, scented, in compact axillary clusters, up to 2 cm long. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule 6-8 mm long, red whin ripe, each lobe with 1-3 spine-like points or ridges.
Derivation of specific name: echinatus: with prickles or spines, referring to the spine-like point on the lobes of the fruit.
Habitat: In the understorey of (sub)montane forest, often on rocky slopes.
Altitude range: (metres) 1230 - 2400 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E,S
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 17 February 2014

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 502. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 46. Also as Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 597.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 43.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 255.

Goodier, R. & Phipps, J.B. (1961). A revised checklist of the vascular plants of the Chimanimani Mountains Kirkia 1 Page 58. as Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus.

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 34.

Robson, N.K.B. (1966). Celastraceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 374 - 376. (Includes a picture).

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 360 - 361. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 67.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 170 - 171. (Includes a picture).

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Page 190. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 90.

Other sources of information about Pterocelastrus echinatus:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Pterocelastrus echinatus
Flora of Mozambique: Pterocelastrus echinatus

External websites:

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

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: Pterocelastrus echinatus., retrieved 26 February 2024

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