Vitex mombassae Vatke

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Vitex mombassae

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road to Hwange NP, Main Camp.

Vitex mombassae

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road to Hwange NP, Main Camp.

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

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

Synonyms: Vitex flavescens Rolfe var. parviflora Gibbs
Vitex pooara sensu K. Coates Palgrave
Common names: Smelly-berry fingerleaf (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or sometimes a small tree. Bark grey to brown, peeling in strips; growing tips densely covered in orange-tawny hairs. Leaves aromatic when crushed, essentially 5-foliolate but often with outer leaflets deformed or not developed and appearing 3-foliolate. Central leaflet elliptic to somewhat obovate, usually c. 6 × 4 cm but sometimes larger, yellowish-green, with short soft hairs above, more densely hairy below; margin entire; petiolules usually absent, rarely very short on the central leaflet. Petiole 4-9 cm long, with soft tawny hairs. Flowers in few-flowered, axillary heads, obscurely 2-lipped, pale blue or mauve and white to cream; calyx lobes and stalks covered in long tawny hairs. Fruit ellipsoid to almost round, c. 2 × 1.5 cm, fleshy, dark-brown to black, held in the enlarged calyx.
Derivation of specific name: mombassae: of Mombassa on the Kenyan coast, where the type specimen was found
Habitat: Occurring in deciduous woodland and thickets on Kalahari sand but also on rocky outcrops.
Altitude range: (metres) 300 - 1800 m
Flowering time:Oct - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Limpopo, South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,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
Images last updated: Saturday 13 February 2010

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 859. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Page 571.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 272.

Fernandes, R. (2005). Lamiaceae (subfamilies: Viticoideae and Ajugoideae) Flora Zambesiaca 8(7) Pages 87 - 89. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 80. also as Vitex pooara

Smith, P. & Allen, Q. (2004). Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of the Miombo Woodlands Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 1 84246 073 0 Pages 82 - 84. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 184.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 216.

Other sources of information about Vitex mombassae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Vitex mombassae
Flora of Caprivi: Vitex mombassae
Flora of Malawi: Vitex mombassae
Flora of Mozambique: Vitex mombassae
Flora of Zambia: Vitex mombassae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Vitex mombassae
African Plant Database: Vitex mombassae
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Vitex mombassae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Vitex mombassae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Vitex mombassae
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Vitex mombassae
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Vitex mombassae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Vitex mombassae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Vitex mombassae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Vitex mombassae
Ispot Southern Africa: Vitex mombassae
JSTOR Plant Science: Vitex mombassae
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Vitex mombassae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Vitex mombassae
The Plant List (version 1.1): Vitex mombassae
Tropicos: Vitex mombassae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Vitex mombassae., retrieved 16 July 2019

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