1. Family: Burseraceae Kunth
    1. Genus: Commiphora Jacq.
      1. Commiphora merkeri Engl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Kenya to Mozambique.

    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    Small tree up to 6 m. tall; bark dark green, becoming rough and dark with age but peeling in thin yellowish strips; young branches smooth, rich purple, shallowly longitudinally furrowed, spiny.
    Leaves
    Leaves 1-foliolate; petiole up to 0·5 mm. long, often with a tuft of brownish hairs; leaflets up to 4 × 2·3 cm., narrowly obovate to obovate, apex rounded, margin crenate in the upper third, base cuneate, glabrous on both sides or with a few minute glands, glaucous.
    Flowers
    Flowers appearing before the leaves or with the young leaves in clusters on short side-shoots; pedicels up to 5 mm. long, very slender, glabrous.
    Calyx
    Calyx c. 2·5 mm. long, tubular, lobed about 1/3-way, glabrous.
    Corolla
    Petals (? immature) 4 mm. long.
    Disc
    Disk-lobes 4.
    Stamens
    Stamen-filaments slender.
    Fruits
    Fruit c. 1 × 0·6 cm., ellipsoid, somewhat flattened, apex apiculate, glabrous; pseudaril with (3) 4 arms; endocarp c. 8 × 5 mm., smooth, with one face deeply convex and the other shallowly convex with an elongated hump at its centre.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Spiny glabrous shrub or small tree up to 5 m. tall; trunk cylindrical; outer bark peeling from the dark green shiny under-bark in large pale yellow papery sheets which are fragile, not tough; oleo-resin copious, fluid with a strong fruity smell; young branches dark purplish, ultimate branchlets pendulous.
    Leaves
    Leaves all simple, subsessile, rather hard, leathery and glossy, those on the long-shoots ± elliptic with 3–5 teeth along the distal 2/3 of the margin, those on short-shoots cuneate-obovate with teeth only on the distal third of the margin, up to 30 mm. long and 15 mm. wide.
    Flowers
    Male flowers dull red, either solitary on pedicels ± 5 mm. long or 2–3 together with peduncle and pedicels each 5–6 mm. and bracts ± 1.5 mm. long; calyx ± 2.6 mm., including triangular lobes ± 0.6 mm. long; petals purplish red, linear, 5 mm. long; filaments 3.7 and 2 mm., anthers 0.9 and 0.6 mm. long.
    Male
    Male flowers dull red, either solitary on pedicels ± 5 mm. long or 2–3 together with peduncle and pedicels each 5–6 mm. and bracts ± 1.5 mm. long; calyx ± 2.6 mm., including triangular lobes ± 0.6 mm. long; petals purplish red, linear, 5 mm. long; filaments 3.7 and 2 mm., anthers 0.9 and 0.6 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit on stalks 0.5–3 mm. long, always with only one fertile locule, 11 mm. long (including a 3 mm. beak) × 5.5 × (1.8 + 4) mm.; pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril with 4 irregular arms, that on the fertile face much wider than those on the sterile face and sutures; stone verruculose, 7.5 × 5 × (1.5 + 3) mm. with very large apical pits, and a well marked germination shield; sterile locule narrowly humped distally.
    Figures
    Fig. 5/14–17, p.25.
    Habitat
    Acacia, Commiphora bushed grassland; 710–1600 m.; rainfall 300–400 mm.
    Distribution
    K6 T2 not known elsewhere (but see note)

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

    Common Names

    English
    Zebra corkwood, Zebra-bark commiphora

    Commiphora merkeri Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    May 19, 1982 Hansen, O.J. [3480], Botswana K000285573
    Mar 27, 1974 Winter, B. de [5407], Namibia K000285574
    Mozambique 4952.000
    Greenway, P.J. [14996], Kenya K000353460
    Gillett, J.B. [20246], Kenya K000353467
    Gillett, J.B. [19654], Kenya K000353468
    Glover [2752], Kenya K000353443
    Richards, M. [28591], Tanzania K000353463
    Richards, M. [23736], Tanzania K000353464
    Luke [857], Kenya K000353444
    Bally [3179], Kenya K000353445
    Newbould, J.G.B. [6330], Tanzania K000353465
    Chuwa, S. [2607], Tanzania K000353461
    Chuwa, S. [2833], Tanzania K000353462
    Merker, M. [565], Tanzania K000353466 isosyntype

    First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 44: 144 (1910)

    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.
    • Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1963). Flora Zambesiaca 2(1): 1-351. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1963). Flora Zambesiaca 2(1): 1-351. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 89 (1961).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 79 (1949), pro parte.
    • B.D. Burtt in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1935: 110 (1935).
    • Mattick in Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahelm 12: 662 (1935).
    • Engl. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 48: 460, 480 (1912).
    • Engl. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 44: 144 (1910)

    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

    Plants and People Africa
    Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/