Otomeria elatior (A. Rich. ex DC.) Verdc.

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Otomeria elatior

Photo: Steven Dessein
South of Mpulungu, SW of Mbala, near Lungzua river village

Otomeria elatior

Photo: Steven Dessein
South of Mpulungu, SW of Mbala, near Lungzua river village

Otomeria elatior

Photo: Steven Dessein
South of Mpulungu, SW of Mbala, near Lungzua river village

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

Synonyms: Otomeria dilatata Hiern
Pentas elatior (A. Rich. ex DC.) Walp.
Sipanea elatior A. Rich. ex DC.
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect or rarely straggling herb 0.35–3 m tall. Leaves ovate-elliptic or rarely linear, 1.5–9.5 cm long, pubescent to densely hairy on both surfaces, or hairless above and pubescent on the veins beneath; petiole 0–6 mm long; stipules with 1–3 flat linear setae 1–5 mm long, and 2–6 short setae from a short base. Inflorescence 1–6.5 cm long, extending to 4–37 cm long in fruit; peduncle up to 30 cm long. Calyx tube c. 2 mm long, lobes very unequal, 1–3 leaf-like, lanceolate, 0.5–2.4 cm long, the rest 1–4 mm long. Corolla rose-scarlet or-crimson; tube 1.7–2.7 cm. long, sparsely hairy or hairless below; lobes ovate, orbicular or elliptic-spathulate, 0.5–1.8 cm long; throat densely hairy. Fruit oblong, compressed, 0.6–1.2 cm long, strongly ribbed, pubescent, chestnut or purple-brown.
Derivation of specific name: elatior: taller
Habitat: Nearly always in wet places, dambos, stream-banks and riversides, swamps, vleis, often near evergreen fringes in Brachystegia woodland; occasionally in drier areas but still near water.
Altitude range: (metres) 510 - 1900 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread from Mali to Cameroon, CAR and Sudan to Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,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: Monday 23 October 2017

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 110 - 111. (Includes a picture).

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 102. as Otomeria dilatata

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 73.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 90.

Verdcourt, B. (1988). Rubiaceae, Part 1 Flora Zambesiaca 5(1) Pages 79 - 82. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 99.

Other sources of information about Otomeria elatior:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Otomeria elatior
Flora of Malawi: Otomeria elatior
Flora of Mozambique: Otomeria elatior
Flora of Zambia: Otomeria elatior

External websites:

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

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: Otomeria elatior.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=155100, retrieved 4 March 2024

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