Shirakiopsis elliptica (Hochst.) Esser

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Shirakiopsis elliptica

Picture: Bart Wursten
John Ball's cottage, Vumba

Shirakiopsis elliptica

Picture: Bart Wursten
John Ball's cottage, Vumba

Shirakiopsis elliptica

Picture: Bart Wursten
By roadside, Vumba road before the Essex road turnoff

Shirakiopsis elliptica

Picture: Bart Wursten
By roadside, Vumba road before the Essex road turnoff

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

Synonyms: Sapium ellipticum (Hochst. ex Krauss) Pax
Sapium mannianum (Müll. Arg.) Benth.
Common names:
Status: Native
Small to medium-sized tree. Leaves elliptic, oblong or lanceolate, 4-14 cm, leathery, dark green above, paler below; margin toothed or scalloped; 2-4 glands present on the margin near the base. Petiole shallowly grooved on top. Flowers in terminal, catkin-like spikes, yellow. Fruit c. 10 × 7 mm, 1-2-lobed, crowned with the persistent styles, reddish-brown when ripe.
Type location:
South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Derivation of specific name: elliptica: elliptic, oblong with rounded ends
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Throughout most of tropical Africa to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,?C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,C
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Sevenia boisduvali boisduvali (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 149. as Sapium ellipticum (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. Page 468. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 49. As Sapium ellipticum

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 20. As Sapium ellipticum

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 253. As Sapium ellipticum

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 43. as Sapium ellipticum

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Pages 324 - 325. As Sapium ellipticum

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 294 - 295. as Sapium ellipticum (Includes a picture).

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 25. As Sapium ellipticum

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 89. as Sapium ellipticum

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 73.

Other sources of information about Shirakiopsis elliptica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Shirakiopsis elliptica
Flora of Malawi: Shirakiopsis elliptica
Flora of Mozambique: Shirakiopsis elliptica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Shirakiopsis elliptica

External websites:

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

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: Shirakiopsis elliptica., retrieved 24 July 2024

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