Sterculia africana (Lour.) Fiori

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Sterculia africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Victoria Falls, rd to Zambezi NP

Sterculia africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Victoria Falls, rd to Zambezi NP

Sterculia africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Victoria Falls, rd to Zambezi NP

Sterculia africana

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road from Sinamatella to Robins Camp, Hwange NP

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

Synonyms: Sterculia guerichii K. Schum.
Common names: African star-chestnut (English) Munera (Shona) Mungosa (Shona) Murere (Shona) Mutedza (Shona) Mutsvedza (Shona) Tick tree (English) Umkukubuyu (Ndebele)
Frequency: Common at lower altitudes
Status: Native
Medium sized tree with a stout trunk. Bark smooth silvery-grey, often mottled with purple-brown, peeling. Leaves crowded near the ends of branches, broadly ovate-cordate in outline, variously 3-5- lobed. Flowers in compact terminal panicles, greenish-yellow with reddish guide lines, appearing before the leaves; sexes separate on the same tree. Fruit consisting of 1-5 beaked carpels, each splitting down one side, golden velvety on the outside; mouth fringed with highly irritant hairs, which protect the blue-black, tick-like seeds.
Derivation of specific name: africana: African
Habitat: In hot, dry areas along the fringes of mopane woodland and rocky kopjes.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1100 m
Flowering time:Sep - Nov
Worldwide distribution: East Africa from Sudan to Mozambique; Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 9 November 2006

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 594. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 458 - 459.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 454 - 455. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 260.

Fowler, D.G. (2007). Zambian Plants: Their Vernacular Names and Uses, Kew Publishing

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 68.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 84.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 262 - 263.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 108.

Storrs, A.E.G. (1995). Know Your Trees Regional Soil Conservation Unit. Pages 97 - 98. (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 179.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 210 - 211.

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press. Page 246.

Wild, H. (1960-1). Sterculiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Pages 553 - 554. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Sterculia africana:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sterculia africana
Flora of Caprivi: Sterculia africana
Flora of Malawi: Sterculia africana
Flora of Mozambique: Sterculia africana
Flora of Zambia: Sterculia africana

External websites:

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

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: Sterculia africana., retrieved 26 May 2024

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