Trichodesma physaloides (Fenzl) A. DC.

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Trichodesma physaloides

Photo: Mark Hyde
Rusape, by main Harare / Mutare Rd

Trichodesma physaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten

Trichodesma physaloides

Photo: Mark Hyde
Borrowdale Road, Harare

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

Common names: Bells of St Mary's (English)
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Native
Perennial herb with several to many erect, ± glabrous, stems growing from a rootstock, dying back each winter. Leaves variable from linear-elliptic to broadly ovate. Inflorescence composed of 2-9 cymose primary branches, without bracts. Sepals lanceolate to ovate, enlarging in fruit. Corolla 15-22 mm, white (also said to be cream or pink-tinged). Fruit a single discoid tomentose nutlet.
Notes: A pretty species but the flowers are short-lived and the petals are often brown-tipped. See blue-flowered Trichodesma ambacense subsp. hockii for comparison.
Derivation of specific name: physaloides: resembling a Physalis
Habitat: In seasonally burnt grassland and open woodland.
Altitude range: (metres) 900 - 1900 m
Flowering time:Jul - Sep (-Nov)
Worldwide distribution: Sudan and Ethiopia south to 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: 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).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 117. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 56.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 35.

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 96 - 98. (Includes a picture).

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 102, plate 139 & 140

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

Other sources of information about Trichodesma physaloides:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Trichodesma physaloides
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Trichodesma physaloides
Flora of Malawi: Trichodesma physaloides
Flora of Mozambique: Trichodesma physaloides
Flora of Zambia: Trichodesma physaloides

External websites:

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

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: Trichodesma physaloides., retrieved 15 April 2024

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