Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) Wight & Arn.

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Dichrostachys cinerea

Drawing showing characteristics for Dichrostachys cinerea africana
Lusaka 1976; Patricia Bingham

Dichrostachys cinerea

Drawing showing characteristics for Dichrostachys cinerea nyassana
Lusaka 1976; Patricia Bingham

Dichrostachys cinerea

Drawing showing characteristics for Dichrostachys cinerea nyassana
Lusaka 1976; Patricia Bingham

Dichrostachys cinerea

Drawing showing characteristics for Dichrostachys cinerea nyassana
Lusaka 1976; Patricia Bingham

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

Synonyms: Dichrostachys glomerata (Forssk.) Chiov.
Common names:
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree, 1-8(-12) m, sometimes suckering and thicket-forming. Bark markedly ridged,the ridges ± vertical and anastomosing. Young branchlets usually ± pubescent, sometimes puberulent or even glabrous. Leaves with 5-19 pairs of pinnae; rhachis (including petiole) 0.5-20 cm, with stalked glands between either all the pinnae or only the basal and distal ones. Leaflets 9-41 pairs, 1-11 × 0.3-4 mm, linear to oblong. Inflorescences 2-5 cm, solitary or apparently fascicled. Pod 2-10 × 0.5-2.6 cm. Seeds 4-6 × 3-4.5 cm, deep brown, glossy.
Type location:
Sri Lanka
Notes: Many subspecies and varieties have been described. For the time being we have treated this as one aggregate species.
Derivation of specific name: cinerea: ash-grey
Habitat: In wooded grassland and savannah areas, most common at lower altitudes. On poor soils and overgrazed ground it often forms tangled, impenetrable thickets.
Altitude range: Up to 1550 m
Flowering time:Oct - Jan
Worldwide distribution: The species as an aggregate is widespread in Africa, including Cape Verde and Zanzibar. Also in Asia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces):
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
Content last updated: Wednesday 11 January 2017

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 50 - 51. (Includes a picture).

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Pages 37 - 45. (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 212. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Pages 216 - 218. As subsp. africana var. africana, subsp. africana var. plurijuga, subsp. argillicola var. hirtipes, subsp. forbesii, subsp. nyassana. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 20. Dichrostachys cinerea africana africana and D. cinerea africana plurijuga

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13. As Dichrostachys cinerea africana africana

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 304. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 272 - 275. as Dichrostachys glomerata (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 47.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 188 - 189. (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 64. under various subspecies. and varieties

Darbyshire, I., Timberlake, J., Osborne, J., Rokni, S., Matimele, H., Langa. C., Datizua, C., de Sousa, C., Alves, T., Massingue, A., Hadj-Hammou, J., Dhanda, S., Shah, T., Wursten, B. (2019). The endemic plants of Mozambique: diversity and conservation status Phytotaxa 136 Page 86. As Dichrostachys cinerea africana pubescens

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 215.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 241. As Dichrostachys cinerea africana, D. cinerea agillicola and D. cinerea nyassana

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 56 - 57. (Includes a picture).

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 170 - 171. as Dichrostachys subsp africana var. africana (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 259. (Includes a picture).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 124 - 125. (Includes a picture).

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 45. under various subspp.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 55. under various subspp.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 73. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 180 - 182. (Includes a picture).

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Page 174. under various subspecies (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 64.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Pages 16 - 17. as Dichrostachys nyassana (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 94.

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 210.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 500 - 501.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (2013). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa (Second edition) Struik, South Africa Pages 596 - 597. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 54. as Dichrostachys glomerata (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Dichrostachys cinerea:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Dichrostachys cinerea
Flora of Caprivi: Dichrostachys cinerea
Flora of Malawi: Dichrostachys cinerea
Flora of Mozambique: Dichrostachys cinerea
Flora of Zimbabwe: Dichrostachys cinerea

External websites:

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

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: Dichrostachys cinerea.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=126320, retrieved 24 May 2024

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