Erythroxylum zambesiacum N. Robson

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Erythroxylum zambesiacum

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 4, Katombora Is, Zambia

Erythroxylum zambesiacum

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 4, Katombora Is, Zambia

Erythroxylum zambesiacum

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 4, Katombora Is, Zambia

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Common names:
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree. Bark smooth and grey. Branches pendulous. Leaves obovate to oblong, thinly textured, pale green, veining prominent; stipules triangular, persistent. Flowers solitary or in small groups, axillary, white to yellowish, inconspicuous. Fruit a cylindric drupe, bright shiny red when ripe.
Type location:
Notes: This species is confined to the Zambezi Valley area and should be listed as a near endemic. Both species of Erythroxylum have the distinctive flattened branchlets described under the genus. E. zambesiacum is readily confused in leaf with Flueggea virosa, but it is often a tree (Flueggea usually a shrub), its branches are often pendulous (Flueggea not pendulous) and it occurs only in the Zambezi Valley (Flueggea occurs throughout the flora area). Once familiar, the distinctive flattened branchlets of E. zambesiacum also serve to distinguish this species from Flueggea. The fruits of the two species are of course quite different.
Derivation of specific name: zambesiacum: of the Zambezi region
Habitat: In dry woodland, on rocky hillsides and in riverine fringes.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Zambia, Zimbabwe, northern Botswana and Caprivi-Namibia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): S
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

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Page 246.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 248.

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 40.

Robson, N.K.B. (1963). Erythroxylaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(1) Pages 104 - 108. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 55.

Other sources of information about Erythroxylum zambesiacum:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Erythroxylum zambesiacum
Flora of Caprivi: Erythroxylum zambesiacum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Erythroxylum zambesiacum

External websites:

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

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: Erythroxylum zambesiacum., retrieved 21 April 2024

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