Launaea nana (Baker) Chiov.

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Launaea nana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Launaea nana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Railway crossing at entrance rd to Lake Chivero RP

Launaea nana

Photo: Lynne James
Lower slopes of Pork Pie (Nyamzure), Chimanimani

Launaea nana

Photo: Mark Hyde
Near Celebration Centre

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Synonyms: Lactuca nana Baker
Launaea elliotiana (Hiern) L. Boulos
Sonchus elliotianus Hiern
Sonchus nanus O. Hoffm.
Common names:
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Native
Stemless perennial herb,usually less than 10 cm tall, growing from a semi-woody taproot. Leaves 2-6 in a rosette, appearing after the flowers, linear to oblanceolate in outline, up to 20 cm long, more or less pinnately lobed, hairless, midrib prominent beneath; margin with small ciliate teeth. Capitula numerous, erect. Involucral bracts green to dark-purple, 3-4-seriate, usually with a wing-like growth on the midrib, hairless but more or less densely ciliate at the apex. Florets c. 23, yellow, 10-15 mm long. Achenes sub-fusiform-oblanceolate, 4-5 mm long, somewhat 4-angled, reddish-brown, 10-14-ribbed, hairless; pappus of barbellate setae 8-10 mm long.
Notes: This species is easily distinguished from the closely related Launaea rarifolia by the much greater number of ligulate florets (20-25 per capitulum). There are no leaves present at the time of flowering.
Derivation of specific name: nana: dwarf
Habitat: In grassland and open miombo woodland, typically appearing and flowering after fire.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Aug - Sep
Worldwide distribution: West Africa, Angola, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South 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 19 January 2020

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Pages 218 - 219. (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 101.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 36.

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 26.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 31.

Pope, G.V. (1992). Compositae Flora Zambesiaca 6(1) Pages 216 - 217. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Launaea nana:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Launaea nana
Flora of Malawi: Launaea nana
Flora of Mozambique: Launaea nana
Flora of Zambia: Launaea nana

External websites:

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

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: Launaea nana., retrieved 18 June 2024

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