Biophytum abyssinicum Steud. ex A. Rich.

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Biophytum abyssinicum

Escarpment Brachystegia woodland
Nsumbu National Park
May 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Biophytum abyssinicum

Escarpment Brachystegia woodland
Nsumbu National Park
May 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Biophytum abyssinicum

Escarpment Brachystegia woodland
Nsumbu National Park
May 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

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

Synonyms: Biophytum reinwardtii (Zucc.) Klotzsch subsp. abyssinicum (Steud. ex A. Rich.) Steen.
Oxalis abyssinica (Steud. ex A. Rich.) Walp.
Common names:
Status: Native
Small annual herb. Leaves in a rosette at the apex of a short stem, thinly textured, paripinnate, the ultimate pair largest, somewhat like a miniature leaf of Brachystegia spiciformis in shape. Flowers in pseudo-umbels on long peduncles, white, pink or pale yellow; pedicels about 2 times as long as the calyx.
Type location:
Notes: The leaves of this species are sensitive and the leaflets quickly fold downwards along the rhachis when touched.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinicum: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Habitat: Mopane and Brachystegia woodland, usually in damp, shady places
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N,Lk,S
Growth form(s): Annual.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 20 July 2020

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 93.

Exell, A.W. (1963). Oxalidaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(1) Pages 156 - 158. (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 65.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 82.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 89. (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 142.

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 221.

Other sources of information about Biophytum abyssinicum:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Biophytum abyssinicum
Flora of Malawi: Biophytum abyssinicum
Flora of Mozambique: Biophytum abyssinicum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Biophytum abyssinicum

External websites:

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

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: Biophytum abyssinicum., retrieved 19 July 2024

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