Strychnos pungens Soler.

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Strychnos pungens

Katanga Province, DRC;
Oct 2006
Photo: Jos Stevens

Strychnos pungens

Katanga Province, DRC;
Oct 2007
Photo: Jos Stevens

Strychnos pungens

Katanga Province, DRC;
Oct 2007
Photo: Jos Stevens

Strychnos pungens

Katanga Province, DRC;
Oct 2006
Photo: Jos Stevens

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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
Small, deciduous to sometimes evergreen tree. Bark grey to brown, rough and flaking in to squares lower on older trunks, grey and smooth higher up and on younger trees; branches corky and with swollen nodes and conspicuous lenticels. Leaves opposite, 3-veined from (near) the base, narrowly elliptic, 3-8 cm long, rigid or leathery, hairless with a hard, spiny apical point; margin entire; petiole thick, up to 4 mm long. Inflorescences in tight, axillary clusters, c. 2 cm wide; flowers greenish-white, up to 9 mm long. Fruit up to 12 cm in diameter, with a hard, woody shell, bluish-green, yellow when ripe, edible but less tasty than of other species.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: pungens: prickly, referring to the leaf tips
Altitude range:
Flowering time:October
Worldwide distribution: Tropical Africa to Botswana and Limpopo, North-West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N,Lk
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 8 March 2016

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 783. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 34.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 536 - 537. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 268.

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (1983). Loganiaceae (inc. Buddlejaceae) Flora Zambesiaca 7(1) Page 371.

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 58.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 108.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 68. (Possibly this name is in error and actually refers to S. madagascariensis)

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 217.

Other sources of information about Strychnos pungens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Caprivi: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Malawi: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Mozambique: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Strychnos pungens

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Strychnos pungens
African Plant Database: Strychnos pungens
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Strychnos pungens
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Strychnos pungens
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Strychnos pungens
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Strychnos pungens
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Strychnos pungens
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Strychnos pungens
iNaturalist: Strychnos pungens
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Strychnos pungens
JSTOR Plant Science: Strychnos pungens
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Strychnos pungens
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Strychnos pungens
Plants of the World Online: Strychnos pungens
Tropicos: Strychnos pungens
Wikipedia: Strychnos pungens

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-22

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2022). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Strychnos pungens., retrieved 18 August 2022

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