Marsdenia sylvestris (Retz.) P.I. Forst.

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Marsdenia sylvestris

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 2, Katombora

Marsdenia sylvestris

Picture: Bart Wursten
Island 2, Katombora

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Synonyms: Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) Schult.
Periploca sylvestris Retz.
Common names:
Status: Native
Climber, sometimes shrubby with clear sap; older stems woody, pubescent when young. Leaves opposite, shortly petiolate, obovate to elliptic, 15-80 mm long, shortly hairy or becoming hairless when older. Inflorescences in axillary umbels on short peduncles. Corolla pale yellow or cream inside with short hairs on the inside of the corona lobes; tube 1.5-2 mm long; lobes ovate-deltate, 1.5-2 mm long, spreading and recurved. Fruit a solitary follicle, fusiform and beaked 5-8 cm long,smooth and hairless.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: sylvestris: of woods or forests
Habitat: In deciduous woodland, riverine forest or among rocks on hillsides.
Altitude range: Up to 1200 m
Flowering time:Dec - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa, through Arabia and from India to China.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces):
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Binns, B. (1968). A First Check List of the Herbaceous Flora of Malawi The Government Printer, Zomba, Malawi Page 21. as Gymnema sylvestre

Bruyns, P.V. (2014). The Apocynaceae of Namibia Strelitzia 34 SANBI, Pretoria, South Africa Pages 34 - 35. as Gymnema sylvestre

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 25.

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 26.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 270. As Gymnema sylvestre

Goyder, D.J., Gilbert, M.G. & Venter, H.J.T. (2020). Apocynaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 7(3) Page 72.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 200. (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 20. as Gymnema sylvestre

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 25.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 28.

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 198. As Gymnema sylvestre

Other sources of information about Marsdenia sylvestris:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Marsdenia sylvestris
Flora of Caprivi: Marsdenia sylvestris
Flora of Malawi: Marsdenia sylvestris
Flora of Mozambique: Marsdenia sylvestris
Flora of Zimbabwe: Marsdenia sylvestris

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-21

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2021). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Marsdenia sylvestris., retrieved 22 October 2021

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