Bersama swynnertonii Baker f.

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Bersama swynnertonii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Seldomseen, Vumba

Bersama swynnertonii

Photo: Bart Wursten
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford

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Common names: Purple bersama (English)
Frequency: Local
Status: Native
Small to medium-sized evergreen tree. Leaves pinnate with 1 to 3 pairs of leaflets and a terminal leaflet, sometimes appearing 3-foliolate. Flowers in conspicuous racemes, greenish to cream at first, turning pink to purple with age. Fruit a spherical capsule, wrinkled, splitting into 4 valves, revealing bright orange and yellow seeds.
Notes: The plant is said to be poisonous to life-stock.
Derivation of specific name: swynnertonii: named after Charles Francis Massey Swynnerton (1877-1938), well-known naturalist, who first recorded and collected many species of flora and fauna in and around the Chirinda Forest
Habitat: Edges of evergreen and riverine forest
Altitude range: (metres) 1070 - 1660 m
Flowering time:Nov - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and adjacent areas of Mozambique
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status: Near Endemic
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 542. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 257.

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 62.

Shone, D.K. & Drummond, R.B. (1965). Poisonous Plants of Rhodesia Ministry of Agriculture, Rhodesia Pages 40 - 41. (Includes a picture).

White, F. (1966). Melianthaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 546 - 547. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 95.

Other sources of information about Bersama swynnertonii:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Bersama swynnertonii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Bersama swynnertonii
African Plant Database: Bersama swynnertonii
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Bersama swynnertonii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Bersama swynnertonii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Bersama swynnertonii
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Bersama swynnertonii
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Bersama swynnertonii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Bersama swynnertonii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Bersama swynnertonii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Bersama swynnertonii
Ispot Southern Africa: Bersama swynnertonii
JSTOR Plant Science: Bersama swynnertonii
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Bersama swynnertonii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Bersama swynnertonii
The Plant List (version 1.1): Bersama swynnertonii
Tropicos: Bersama swynnertonii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Bersama swynnertonii., retrieved 21 May 2019

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