Otiophora caerulea (Hiern) Bullock

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Otiophora caerulea

Rocky miombo woodland
Lubuli area
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Otiophora caerulea

Rocky miombo woodland
Lubuli area
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Otiophora caerulea

Rocky miombo woodland
Lubuli area
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

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

Synonyms: Otiophora pulchella De Wild.
Pentanisia caerulea Hiern
Common names:
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Erect, multi-stemmed perennial herb growing from a large woody rootstock; stems 10-45 cm long, usually unbranched, with 2 rows of hairs or occasionally hairy all over; leaves decussate or sometimes appearing whorled, lamina (18)25-55(80) x 2-12(15) mm, elliptic-lanceolate to linear, sometimes ovate, glabrous; inflorescence several- to many-flowered, head-like, 1-2.5(4) cm in diameter; calyx enlarged, foliaceous lobe(s) 1(2), 5-10 x 1-2.5 mm, linear to (elliptic) lanceolate, mostly glabrous; corolla blue to mauve or pinkish-mauve, tube (5)7-12 mm. long, filiform, glabrous, lobes (4)5-6 x 0.7-1 mm. lanceolate, sometimes a little hairy outside; filaments (3)4-5 mm. long, glabrous, anthers c. 1 mm. long; style 8-14 mm. long, stigma lobes 1-3 mm. long; fruit yellowish brown to dark-brown, subglobose; seeds dark brown, 1.2-2.5 mm. in diameter, subglobose with the dorsal side somewhat keeled.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: caerulea: blue, in reference to the flower colour.
Habitat: Open or wooded grasslands, sometimes in seasonally damp areas.
Altitude range: 1220 - 2130 m
Flowering time:Sep - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania and Burundi south through DRC, Zambia and Malawi and west to Angola.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N
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 14 July 2020

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 245.

Verdcourt, B. (1988). Rubiaceae, Part 1 Flora Zambesiaca 5(1) Page 147.

Other sources of information about Otiophora caerulea:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Otiophora caerulea

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Otiophora caerulea.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=189770, retrieved 1 October 2023

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