Skip to main content
  1. Family: Burseraceae Kunth
    1. Genus: Commiphora Jacq.
      1. Commiphora madagascariensis Jacq.

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

    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Slender glabrous sometimes scandent shrubs or trees 1–15 m. tall; outer bark of young stems peeling in pale scrolls or flakes from the green under-bark; older stems and trunks grey-brown; slash white; exudate very liquid, evaporating with hardly any solid residue, very aromatic; spikes few, sparse and short, the longer branches not spine-tipped.
    Leaves
    Mature leaves glossy, brownish, paler beneath; petiole 5–45(–70) mm. long; lateral leaflets usually present but often caducous, oblong or narrowly ovate and acute, 1–12 mm. long, 0.5–8 mm. wide; main leaflet elliptic-obovate, acute, broadly cuneate at the base, 25–40(–115) mm. long, 12–30(–80) mm. wide; main lateral veins 5–8 on each side, thin, rather prominent above and beneath, midrib grooved; margin entire or with numerous (20–60 on each side) minute teeth (their short side under 0.3 mm. long).
    Flowers
    Male flowers greenish yellow or red, 1–3 together on pedicels 1–1.5 mm. long at the tips of short shoots, appearing with the young leaves; calyx ± 1.2 mm. long including ± 0.3 mm. triangular lobes; petals linear, ± 4 mm. long; filaments 2.6 and 2 mm., anthers 0.7 mm. long.
    Male
    Male flowers greenish yellow or red, 1–3 together on pedicels 1–1.5 mm. long at the tips of short shoots, appearing with the young leaves; calyx ± 1.2 mm. long including ± 0.3 mm. triangular lobes; petals linear, ± 4 mm. long; filaments 2.6 and 2 mm., anthers 0.7 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit subsessile or on pedicels ± 3 mm. and peduncles 1–3 mm. long, obovoid, 10–13 mm. long including a beak of 0.6 mm., 7–9 mm. wide, (3.5–4 + 3.5–4) mm. thick; pericarp fleshy, 1 mm. thick; pseudaril bright red when mature, enveloping the whole stone, which has 2 similar locules slightly unequal in size, rounded oblong when viewed from above with 2 small apical pits, perhaps both fertile, 6–8 × 4–5 × (3–3.5 + 3–3.5) mm.
    Figures
    Fig. 5/21–23, p.25.
    Habitat
    In thickets by streams or on termite mounds and in semi-evergreen dry forest on rocky slopes; 5–660 m.; rainfall 750–950 mm.
    Distribution
    T6 T8 not known elsewhere, formerly cultivated in Mauritius and India (surviving near Bhagapur on the Ganges as a relic of cultivation)
    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    Shrub or small tree up to c. 5 m. tall; bark smooth (dark brown, grey-brown or green-brown); branches often spiny, glabrous.
    Leaves
    Leaves 1-foliolate or 3-foliolate with 2 much smaller lateral leaflets; petiole very short (c. 1 mm. long) or considerably longer (up to 1·5 cm.), glabrous except for a minute tuft of hairs at the articulation just below the base of the sessile leaflet; leaflet-lamina up to 4 (6) × 1·5 (3) cm., elliptic or narrowly obovate-spathulate, apex acute or obtuse, margins finely crenate-serrate, base cuneate, glabrous on both sides.
    Flowers
    Flowers appearing before the leaves or with the young leaves in subsessile clusters on short side-shoots or spines.
    Calyx
    Calyx c. 2 mm. long, tubular, lobed to 1/3–1/2-way, glabrous.
    Corolla
    Petals c. 4 mm. long.
    Disc
    Disk-lobes 4.
    Stamens
    Stamen-filaments slender, subterete.
    Fruits
    Fruit c. 1·2 × 0·6 cm., ellipsoid, somewhat flattened, glabrous, apex somewhat apiculate; pseudaril with (3) 4 arms; endocarp c. 7 × 5 mm., smooth, with one face rather deeply convex and one shallowly convex.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Tanzania

    Introduced into:

    Assam, Bangladesh, India, Mauritius

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Commiphora madagascariensis Jacq. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1959 Wallich, N. [8498], India K000651688

    Bibliography

    First published in Pl. Hort. Schoenbr. 2: 66 (1797)

    Accepted by

    • 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.

    Literature

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Engl. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 48: 459, 478 (1912).
    • Engl. in DC., Monogr. Phan. 4: 11 (1883), as ‘ madagascariensis ’
    • Jacq., Hort. Schoenbr. 2: 66, t. 249 (1797).

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    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