Eriospermum kirkii Baker

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Eriospermum kirkii

Picture: Ton Rulkens
Valley of Zambezi River, Mapeia district, Zambezia province

Eriospermum kirkii

Picture: Ton Rulkens
Valley of Zambezi River, Mapeia district, Zambezia province

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Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial herb up to 25 cm high, 1-several growing points developing from a globose tuber. Leaves 1-2 per growing point, elliptic to lanceolate up to 10 cm long, bright green, hairless; leaf sheath above ground for up to 50 mm, dark red, becoming paler towards the leaf blade. Inflorescences 1-2 per growing point on a peduncle up to 20 cm long, 12-15-flowered. Flowers urn-shaped, c. 12 mm in diameter with tepals recurved, white to pale pink with a broad red-streaked mid-vein; stamens white. Capsule ovoid 6-8 mm long, emarginate; tepals persistent.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: kirkii: named after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: In poor dry sandy soils on grassy flats, mopane woodland or miombo woodland.
Altitude range: Up to 1000 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): E
Zambian distribution (Provinces): E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 14 October 2016

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 90.

Perry, P.L. (2010). Eriospermaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(2) Pages 6 - 7. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Eriospermum kirkii:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Eriospermum kirkii
Flora of Mozambique: Eriospermum kirkii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Eriospermum kirkii

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Eriospermum kirkii., retrieved 25 April 2024

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