Acokanthera rotundata (Codd) Kupicha

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Acokanthera rotundata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Botanic Garden Meise

Acokanthera rotundata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Botanic Garden Meise

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Synonyms: Acokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Schweinf. var. rotundata Codd
Common names: Round-leaved poison-bush (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Bark greyish-brown, rough; branches conspicuously angled and ribbed, milky sap present. Leaves opposite broadly elliptic to subcircular, up to 7.5 cm long, shiny dark green above, paler below, very stiff and leathery, often very rough to the touch above; margin entire, often rolled under. Inflorescence of many-flowered axillary clusters; corolla white, often pink to red on the corolla tube, sweetly scented. Fruit almost round, fleshy, up to 2 cm in diameter, red to purple when ripe.
Notes: Note: a very poisonous species but the ripe fruit is edible though very bitter.
Derivation of specific name: rotundata: rotund, broadly rounded, referring to the relatively broad leaves.
Habitat: In dry woodland among rocks.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Feb - May
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,E,S
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

Biegel, H.M. (1977). Check-list of ornamental plants used in Rhodesian parks and gardens. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal. Research Report No. 3. Page 19.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 2.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 268. As Acokanthera schimperi rotundata

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Kupicha, F.K. et al. (1985). Apocynaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(2) Page 406.

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 18.

Other sources of information about Acokanthera rotundata:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Acokanthera rotundata

External websites:

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

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: Acokanthera rotundata., retrieved 21 February 2024

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