Landolphia kirkii Dyer ex Hook. f.

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Landolphia kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
"Forest Edge", private property near Bunga Forest, Vumba.

Landolphia kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
"Forest Edge", private property near Bunga Forest, Vumba.

Landolphia kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
"Forest Edge", private property near Bunga Forest, Vumba.

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

Synonyms: Landolphia delagoensis (Dewèvre) Pierre
Vahea kirkii (Dyer ex Hook. f.) Sadeb.
Common names: Mukanga (Shona) Muungu (Shona) Rubber vine (English) Runyangarwapene (Shona) Sand apricot-vine (English)
Status: Native
Straggling shrub or liane with numerous strong tendrils formed by the inflorescence branches. Leaves oblong to narrowly ovate, up to c. 9 cm long, glossy green above, midrib channeled, 10 to 12 pairs of lateral veins and net-veining slightly raised above, midrib pubescent below. Inflorescence terminal many-flowered. Flowers white or creamy-yellow, c. 1 cm in diameter with the tube 3.5 - 4 mm long, scented. Fruits spherical, up to 15 cm in diameter, green, edible.
Notes: Despite differences in size and venation of the leaves, this species is very similar to L. buchananii and both species are very difficult to distinguish when not in flower. Flowers of L. buchananii are considerably larger with a longer pinkish tube. Both species are found in similar habitats.
Derivation of specific name: kirkii: named after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: In Brachystegia woodland, riverine and deciduous forest, and along the margins of evergreen forest.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Nov - Jan
Worldwide distribution: DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Climber, liane.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Nephele argentifera (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 4 August 2009

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 797. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 36.

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 26.

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

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Kupicha, F.K. et al. (1985). Apocynaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(2) Pages 411 - 412.

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 19.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 23.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 43.

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 72.

Other sources of information about Landolphia kirkii:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Landolphia kirkii
Flora of Malawi: Landolphia kirkii
Flora of Mozambique: Landolphia kirkii
Flora of Zambia: Landolphia kirkii

External websites:

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

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: Landolphia kirkii., retrieved 27 February 2024

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