Multidentia crassa (Hiern) Bridson & Verdc.
var. ampla (S. Moore) Bridson & Verdc.

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Multidentia crassa var. ampla

Miombo woodland
Lilayi Lodge, Lusaka
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Multidentia crassa var. ampla

Miombo woodland
Lilayi Lodge, Lusaka
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Multidentia crassa var. ampla

Miombo woodland
Lilayi Lodge, Lusaka
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

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Synonyms: Canthium amplum S. Moore
Plectronia buarica Mildbr.
Common names:
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree 0.6-6 m tall; main trunk with almost black bark or rough grey bark peeling to expose a reddish undersurface; shoots rather stout with thick corky bark; sap copious and sometimes milky; leaves mostly restricted to shoot tips, lamina 3-27.5 x 1.7-15.5 cm, oblong-elliptic to oblong or sometimes round, glabrous above and velvety beneath with short matted hairs, rather fleshy or leathery, petioles 3-25 mm long; stipules with broad basal part 3.5-5 mm long and subulate apex 1.5-7.5 mm long; inflorescences in axillary many flowered divaricate cymes, pubescent or sometimes densely woolly tomentose; peduncle 10-50 mm long, pedicels 1-3 mm long, bracts 3-5 mm long; calyx tube 1.5-2 mm long, obconic, glabrous or pubescent; corolla greenish-yellow, fleshy and thick, tube 2.5-4.5 mm long, with long soft hairs at throat and a ring of deflexed hairs one third of the way to the top, lobes 3 mm long and triangular; fruit green mottled brown to yellow or dull red or brown spotted white, fleshy and edible, depressed globose, 22-30 x 26-37 mm; pyrenes ellipsoid, 18-22 x 11-17 x 11-15 mm, with a deep lateral semicircular groove on either side above the point of attachment. Differs from var. crassa which has leaf blades glabrous even when young, or with tomentose domatia beneath while var. ampla has leaf blades velvety beneath with short matted hairs.
Type location:
Zambia, Chilanga
Derivation of specific name: crassa: thick, referring to the leaves; ampla: ample, abundant
Habitat: In Brachystegia woodlands and Brachystegia-Uapaca woodland, often on hill tops
Altitude range: 850 - 1250 m
Flowering time:Nov - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N,Cb,Lk,S
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: Thursday 15 April 2021

Bridson, D.M. (1998). Rubiaceae, Part 2 Flora Zambesiaca 5(2) Pages 312 - 314.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 941. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Multidentia crassa var. ampla:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Multidentia crassa var. ampla
Flora of Mozambique: Multidentia crassa var. ampla

External websites:

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

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: Multidentia crassa var. ampla., retrieved 22 May 2024

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