1. Family: Burseraceae Kunth
    1. Genus: Commiphora Jacq.
      1. Commiphora caerulea Burtt

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to Botswana.

    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Tree 3–15 m. tall with a regular spreading crown; trunk up to 80 cm. in diameter at breast height; bark of trunk and larger branches peeling each year about July in cream-coloured papery flakes; before peeling the trunks are a distinctive pale milky blue, afterwards a rich blue-green; exudate fluid, scentless; young twigs ± 1.2 mm. in diameter, fluted, pubescent, later grey and glabrescent.
    Leaves
    Leaves 3–9(–11)-foliolate, pubescent all over or the hairs restricted to rhachis, margins and veins; rhachis up to 12 cm. long, including a petiole up to 6 cm.; leaflets elliptic or oblong-elliptic, rounded or acute at the apex, asymmetricallly rounded or pointed basally, with 12–20 teeth all along each side and an ultimate vein-network usually prominent both above and beneath; terminal leaflet cuneate at the base, ± 5 cm. long and 3 cm. wide, laterals on average 3 × 1.7 cm. Leaves and inflorescences clustered at the ends of short- and long-shoots.
    Flowers
    Flowers greenish yellow appearing with, or just before the young leaves in densely pubescent subumbellate cymes on peduncles up to 20 mm. long, but usually much less, ♂ inflorescences 3–6-, ♀ 1–3-flowered; bracts linear-triangular, brown, caducous, 1–2(–5) mm. long.
    Receptacle
    Receptacle densely pubescent, tumbler-shaped, 3 mm. long, 2.3 mm. wide, Calyx divided almost to the base into triangular-ovate densely pubescent 1.7 mm. long lobes, Petals pubescent outside, oblong, narrowed and reflexed distally but with a tiny inflexed apiculum, 4 mm. long × 1.2 mm. wide; filaments 3.0 and 2.5 mm., anthers 1.0 and 0.6 mm. long, the filaments 0.7 mm. wide at the base, tapering to a pointed tip.
    Fruits
    Fruits usually single, sometimes 2 or 3 together on a 2–11 mm. peduncle and 3–6 mm. pedicels; drupe pubescent at first, later glabrescent, flattened-ellipsoid, ± 15 × 12 mm. when fresh, ± 10 × 8 × (3 + 4) mm. when dry; pseudaril scarlet when mature, its larger lobe covering most of the fertile locule, the opposite lobe much smaller, sutural lobes absent; stone flattened-ellipsoid, indented at the base, both faces smooth and gently convex, ± 7.5 × 6.5 × (1.5 + 2 mm.).
    Figures
    Fig. 14/5–8.
    Habitat
    Open woodland and bushland; 500–1500 m.; rainfall 450–700 mm.
    Distribution
    T1 T4 T5 T6 T7
    [FZ]

    Burseraceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 2:1. 1963

    Habit
    Tree up to 12 m. tall; bark pale bluish-yellow, peeling in papery buffer straw-coloured strips; young branches greyish-pubescent.
    Leaves
    Leaves pinnate or more rarely 3-foliolate; petiole up to 5 cm. long, pubescent; leaflets 2–3-jugate, up to 8 × 4–7 cm., elliptic or oblong-elliptic, apex acute, margin crenate-serrate, base rounded or very broadly cuneate, asymmetric, upper surface with a few scattered hairs on the nerves and midrib or glabrescent, more densely pubescent below; petiolules up to 3 mm. long, pubescent.
    Flowers
    Flowers appearing with the very young leaves, in axillary dichasial cymes up to 2·5 cm. long or the female inflorescences reduced to very short 1–2-flowered cymes; branches of inflorescence greyish-pubescent.
    Calyx
    Calyx c. 2·5 mm. long, campanulate, lobed to almost half-way, densely pilose outside.
    Corolla
    Petals c. 3 mm. long, pilose outside except at the margins.
    Stamens
    Stamen-filaments broadened and flattened towards the base.
    Disc
    Disk-lobes not developed.
    Fruits
    Fruit c. 1·5 cm. in diam., subglobose, somewhat flattened, glabrous; pseudaril covering about 3/4 of the endocarp, and becoming thin above; endocarp c. 1 × 0·8 cm., subcordiform, smooth, both faces moderately convex.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Commiphora caerulea Burtt appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Burtt, B.D. [5695], Malawi K000285564
    Burtt, B.D. [3992], Tanzania K000425404 Unknown type material
    Muller [2311], Botswana K000285563

    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1935: 111 (1935)

    Accepted by

    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • Gillett, J.B. (1991). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Burseraceae: 1-94.
    • Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1963). Flora Zambesiaca 2(1): 1-351. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Wild in Flora Zambesiaca 2: 281, t. 52G (1963).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 84 (1949).
    • B.D. Burtt in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1935: 111, t. 3 (May 1935).
    • Mattick in Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahelm 12: 664 (Dec. 1935).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0