Combretum collinum Fresen.[Agg]

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Combretum collinum

Photo: Helen Pickering
Farmland just below the Makuni ridge about 7 km east of the road between Livingstone and the Falls, turn off about 200m south of the Maramba river. At entrance to farm take right hand fork walk about 400m trees on right

Combretum collinum

Photo: Helen Pickering
Farmland just below the Makuni ridge about 7 km east of the road between Livingstone and the Falls, turn off about 200m south of the Maramba river. At entrance to farm take right hand fork walk about 400m trees on right

Combretum collinum

Photo: Suzanne Carter

Combretum collinum

Photo: Suzanne Carter

Combretum collinum

Photo: Suzanne Carter

Combretum collinum

Photo: Patricia Bingham

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

Synonyms: Combretum binderanum Kotschy
Combretum burttii Exell
Combretum cognatum Diels
Combretum collinum Fresen. subsp. gazense (Swynn. & Baker f.) Okafor
Combretum collinum Fresen. subsp. ondongense (Engl. & Diels) Okafor
Combretum collinum Fresen. subsp. suluense (Engl. & Diels) Okafor
Combretum collinum Fresen. subsp. taborense (Engl.) Okafor
Combretum gazense Swynn. & Baker f.
Combretum junodii Dummer
Combretum mechowianum O. Hoffm.
Combretum ondongense Engl. & Diels
Combretum suluense Engl. & Diels
Combretum taborense Engl.
Common names: Bicoloured bushwillow (English) Boza (Hlengwe) Kalahari bushwillow (English) Mufitikaranje (Shona) Muhwezha (Shona) Mukunza (Tonga: Zimbabwe) Muramba (Shona) Muruka (Shona) Silver bushwillow (English) Umkhosikazi (Ndebele) Umkhozikazi (Ndebele) Variable bushwillow (English) Variable combretum (English) Weeping bushwillow (English)
Status: Native
Small to medium-sized tree. Leaves opposite, more or less broadly elliptic, ovate or obovate, usually up to 10cm long, rarely larger, dark green above, paler green to silvery below, with or without woolly hairs and tiny scales; hairtuft domatia sometimes present in the vein axils below; margin entire. Flowers up to 5 mm in diameter, cream to yellow, in axillary spikes, usually 5-6 cm long. Fruit 4-winged, variable in outline, sometimes narrowly pointed at the apex (see photos), dark chocolate-brown to deep golden-brown when ripe, often with a metallic sheen caused by small scales.
Notes: Although there is considerable debate about their validity, at least 4 subspecies are recorded from our area:
  • subsp. gazense (Swynn. & Baker f.) Okafor: undersurface with dense grey woolly hairs. (Bicoloured bushwillow)
  • subsp. ondongense (Engl. & Diels) Okafor: undersurface yellowish-green; veining indistinct; fruit pale reddish-brown, rather pointed (photos). Mainly restricted to Kalahari sand. (Kalahari bushwillow)
  • subsp. suluense (Engl. & Diels) Okafor: leaves broadly oblong-elliptic to obovate, undersurface, green to yellowish; veining indistinct; fruit densely hairy, reddish-brown; inflorescence unbranched. A tree with often long drooping branches. (Weeping bushwillow)
  • subsp. taborense (Engl.) Okafor: leaves elliptic, often narrowly so; apex attenuate; undersurface discolorous due to tine scales; fruit hairless, dark reddish-brown, somewhat pointed. (Silver bushwillow)
Derivation of specific name: collinum: of the hills, growing on hills
Habitat: Occurring in open woodland and bush.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Aug - Oct
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical and South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,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: Wednesday 29 July 2009

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 129.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Pages 672 - 673. As Combretum collinum subsp. taborense, subsp. gazense and subsp. suluense (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 15. As Combretum collinum collinum

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 25.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 473 - 475. as C. collinum subsp. suluense and subsp. gazense

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 263.

Exell, A.W. (1978). Combretaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 117 - 120.

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 35.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 47. as subspp. gazense, ondongense and suluense

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 55. as Combretum mechowianum

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 69.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 203.

Other sources of information about Combretum collinum:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Combretum collinum
Flora of Caprivi: Combretum collinum
Flora of Malawi: Combretum collinum
Flora of Mozambique: Combretum collinum
Flora of Zambia: Combretum collinum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Combretum collinum
African Plant Database: Combretum collinum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Combretum collinum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Combretum collinum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Combretum collinum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Combretum collinum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Combretum collinum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Combretum collinum
iNaturalist: Combretum collinum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Combretum collinum
JSTOR Plant Science: Combretum collinum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Combretum collinum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Combretum collinum
Plants of the World Online: Combretum collinum
Tropicos: Combretum collinum
Wikipedia: Combretum collinum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Combretum collinum., retrieved 4 February 2023

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