Cassytha filiformis L.

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Cassytha filiformis

Ferme Randu, southwest Katanga Province, DRC; May 2008.
Photo: Jos Stevens

Cassytha filiformis

Ferme Randu, southwest Katanga Province, DRC; May 2008.
Photo: Jos Stevens

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Synonyms: Cassytha guineensis Thonn. ex Schumach.
Cassytha guineensis Thonn. ex Schumach. var. livingstonii Meisn.
Common names:
Status: Native
Parasitic twining herb with green or yellow thread-like stems up to 2 m long, often forming dense masses over vegetation. Leaves scale-like 1-2 mm long. Flowers minute greenish-white in axillary, laxly 3-10-flowerd spikes 1-6 cm long. Fruit a subglobose drupe, c. 6 × 5 mm, surrounded by the hairless receptacle, crowned by the persistent perianth.
Type location:
Notes: Very similar to Cassytha pondoensis but that species can be distinguished in flower by the much shorter, cluster-like inflorescences.
Derivation of specific name: filiformis: filiform, thread-like
Habitat: Growing on shrubs, trees, grasses and reeds in grassland, woodland, at margins of forest and in vegetation along rivers and lakes.
Altitude range: Up to 1400 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Pantropical.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,E
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,C
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 20 - 21. (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 192. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12.

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 153. under alien, introduced species

Diniz, M.A. (1997). Lauraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(2) Pages 46 - 47.

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 58.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 71.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 528 - 529. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2011). Wild flowers, Waterplants and Grasses of the Okavango Delta and Kalahari "Did You Know" nature series Struik Nature for Veronica Roodt Publications Page 71. (Includes a picture).

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

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 26.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 115.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 93.

Other sources of information about Cassytha filiformis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cassytha filiformis
Flora of Caprivi: Cassytha filiformis
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cassytha filiformis
Flora of Malawi: Cassytha filiformis
Flora of Mozambique: Cassytha filiformis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cassytha filiformis

External websites:

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

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: Cassytha filiformis., retrieved 1 March 2024

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