Trichodesma ambacense Welw.
subsp. hockii (De Wild.) Brummitt

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Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam

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

Common names: Blue Bells of St Mary's (English) Gwiramwaka (Shona)
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Native
Perennial herb with many erect stems growing from a rootstock, dying back each winter. Stems bristly-hairy, sometimes sparsely so. Leaves lanceolate to ovate or elliptic. Inflorescence composed of 2-9 cymose primary branches, without bracts. Sepals ovate, enlarging in fruit. Corolla 17-25 mm, blue. Fruit a single discoid tomentose nutlet.
Notes: It is usually one of the first plants to flower in spring, stimulated by veld fires. It is similar to T. physaloides, which flowers around the same time. In T. ambacense the stems are covered in scattered hairs and the flowers are pale blue with more spreading or reflexed petals. T. physaloides has glabrous stems with white or slightly pink, bell-shaped flowers. Subsp. ambacense is confined to Angola.
Derivation of specific name: ambacense: from Ambaca a district of Angola where the type was collected.
Habitat: In grassland and open woodland.
Altitude range: (metres) 600 - 2150 m
Flowering time:Jul - Sep
Worldwide distribution: From Sudan southwards to Zimbabwe and Botswana; also in West Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E
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: Sunday 1 October 2006

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 122 - 123. (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 30.

Martins, E.S. (1990). Boraginaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(4) Pages 98 - 99.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 41.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 62.

Other sources of information about Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii
Flora of Malawi: Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii
Flora of Mozambique: Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii
Flora of Zambia: Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii

External websites:

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

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: Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii., retrieved 30 May 2023

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