Orbea schweinfurthii (A. Berger) Bruyns

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Orbea schweinfurthii

Photo: Lewis Walter
Banks of Zambezi River, about 10 km downstream from bridge at Chirundu.

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Synonyms: Angolluma schweinfurthii (A. Berger) Plowes
Caralluma schweinfurthii A. Berger
Pachycymbium schweinfurthii (A. Berger) M.G. Gilbert
Common names:
Frequency: Locally frequent
Status: Native
Small succulent with trailing prostrate to ascending stems, forming loose mats up to c. 1 m in diameter. Stems slender, up to 15 cm long, branching, green to reddish, mottled with purple-brown; tubercles widely spaced, 3-25 mm long ending in a conical tooth, arranged more or less into 4 rows along the stems. Inflorescences 1-4 around the apex of each stem Flowers 1-3(-8), developing in succession, sweetly scented. Sepals up to 3 mm long, ovate-lanceolate. Corolla 1-1.5 cm in diameter, densely papillate, pale grey green with maroon spots towards base outside, deep yellow with dark maroon spots inside; lobes c. 3.5 × 3 mm, spreading, ovate-deltate, reflexed at the tip. Corona c. 2 mm tall, 7 mm in diameter, pale yellow to cream speckled with purple; outer lobes horizontally spreading and fused to form a pentagonal disc-like structure; inner lobes c. 0.5 mm long, deltate, usually with 1-4 short apical teeth
Notes: Easily distinguished by the trailing, mat-forming habit and the very small flowers.
Derivation of specific name: schweinfurthii: named after Dr Georg August Schweinfurth (1836-1925), german botanical collector and taxonomist.
Habitat: In mopane woodland under small bushes, sometimes in sandy soils but often in muddy or loamy areas near scattered pools of standing water.
Altitude range: (metres) 450 - 1300 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 31 July 2014

Bruyns, P.V. (2002). Monograph of Orbea and Ballyanthus (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae-Ceropegieae) Systematic Botany Monographs 63 Pages 33 - 37. (Includes a picture).

Bruyns, P.V. (2014). The Apocynaceae of Namibia Strelitzia 34 SANBI, Pretoria, South Africa Page 121.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 171. As Pachycymbium schweinfurthii

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 116. (Includes a picture).

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 21.

Plowes, D.C.H. (1993). The taxonomy of the Genera Pachycymbium Leach and Angolluma Munster (Stapelieae: Asclepiadaceae) Excelsa 16 Page 118. as Angolluma schweinfurthii (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Orbea schweinfurthii:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Orbea schweinfurthii
Flora of Caprivi: Orbea schweinfurthii
Flora of Malawi: Orbea schweinfurthii
Flora of Zambia: Orbea schweinfurthii

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-21

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2021). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Orbea schweinfurthii.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=146740, retrieved 18 September 2021

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