Ziziphus abyssinica Hochst. ex A. Rich.

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Ziziphus abyssinica

Drawing: Patricia Bingham

Ziziphus abyssinica

Drawing: Patricia Bingham

Ziziphus abyssinica

Drawing: Patricia Bingham

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree, armed with distinct opposite pairs of hooked and near-straight spines. Leaves ovate, tomentose beneath, markedly asymmetric at the base, 3-5-veined from the base, the veins impressed above; margin finely toothed. Flowers in dense axillary clusters, small, yellowish. Fruit a spherical drupe c. 3 cm, shiny red or reddish-brown when ripe, edible.
Type location:
Notes: This species is very similar to the common Ziziphus mucronata. It can be distinguished by the Clearly impressed veins, above; the consistently tomentose leaves below; and the larger fruits.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinica: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Habitat: In open woodland and along riverbanks.
Altitude range: Up to 1000 m
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: From Senegal to Ethiopia, southwards to Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca):
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,Lp,E,Lk,S,W
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Tarucus sybaris sybaris (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 30 October 2014

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 550. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 371 - 374. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1966). Rhamnaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 420 - 422. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 257.

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 69.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 158.

Other sources of information about Ziziphus abyssinica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Ziziphus abyssinica
Flora of Malawi: Ziziphus abyssinica
Flora of Mozambique: Ziziphus abyssinica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ziziphus abyssinica

External websites:

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

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: Ziziphus abyssinica.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=137640, retrieved 26 February 2024

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