Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to S. Africa.

[FZ]

Euphorbiaceae, A. Radcliffe-Smith. Flora Zambesiaca 9:4. 1996

Morphology General Habit
A rather variable scrambling single- or many-stemmed much branched shrub or small tree up to 7 m tall with a dense rounded crown and with horizontal or pendent branches.
Morphology General Bark
Bark light grey or brownish, smooth or rough, fissured.
Morphology Twigs
Twigs brown, lenticellate.
Morphology General Shoots
Young shoots and petioles evenly to sparingly pubescent, puberulous or subglabrous.
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petioles 2–5 mm long.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules up to 7 × 1 mm, linear-lanceolate or linear, sparingly pubescent or subglabrous, soon falling.
Morphology Leaves Leaf lamina
Leaf blades 1–12 × 0.5–7 cm, elliptic-obovate to elliptic-oblong, rounded or obtuse, occasionally subacute, cuneate or rounded, rarely ± truncate at the base, margins sometimes revolute, firmly chartaceous to thinly coriaceous, glabrous above, evenly to sparingly pubescent along the midrib and nerves or else subglabrous to quite glabrous beneath, often bluish-green and shiny above, pale grey-green to glaucous and dull beneath; lateral nerves in 7–14 pairs, cheilodromous or brochidodromous, occasionally camptodromous, not prominent or slightly impressed above, slightly to strongly prominent beneath, tertiary nerves scarcely visible to prominent beneath.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers and fruits borne on leafy or wholly or partially leafless shoots. Female flowers sessile or subsessile; sepals ± as in the male, but somewhat thicker; petals c. 1 × 1 mm, rhombic-obovate, subentire; outer disk 2 mm in diameter, pentagonal, inner of 3 lobes c. 1 mm high, each lobe ± triangular, toothed; ovary c. 1 × 0.75 mm, ovoid, 2-locular; styles 2, 1 mm long, free, shortly bifid, stigmas uneven, greenish. Male flowers sweetly-scented; pedicels very short or 0; sepals 2 × 1–1.5 mm, triangular-ovate, acute, glabrous, pale yellowish-green; petals 1×1 mm, flabelliform, erose at apex, pale greenish- or creamy-yellow; disk 1.75 mm in diameter, flat, entire, greenish; staminal column 1.25 mm high, greenish; anthers 0.67 mm long, yellow; pistillode 0.75 mm tall, conic-cylindric, deeply bifid.
sex Male
Male flowers sweetly-scented; pedicels very short or 0; sepals 2 × 1–1.5 mm, triangular-ovate, acute, glabrous, pale yellowish-green; petals 1×1 mm, flabelliform, erose at apex, pale greenish- or creamy-yellow; disk 1.75 mm in diameter, flat, entire, greenish; staminal column 1.25 mm high, greenish; anthers 0.67 mm long, yellow; pistillode 0.75 mm tall, conic-cylindric, deeply bifid.
sex Female
Female flowers sessile or subsessile; sepals ± as in the male, but somewhat thicker; petals c. 1 × 1 mm, rhombic-obovate, subentire; outer disk 2 mm in diameter, pentagonal, inner of 3 lobes c. 1 mm high, each lobe ± triangular, toothed; ovary c. 1 × 0.75 mm, ovoid, 2-locular; styles 2, 1 mm long, free, shortly bifid, stigmas uneven, greenish.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit 6–11 × 7–10 mm when dried, subglobose, 2-locular, green at first, later becoming reddish-purple then blackish.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 7 × 6 × 3 mm, smooth, shiny, chestnut-brown.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Subscandent shrub to small tree, 1–9 m high; bark reticulate, fissured or stringy; twigs pendent, sparsely hairy to glabrous
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blade obovate to elliptic, (1–)3–12(–18) x (0.5–)1–5(–8) cm, tip rounded to subacute, subentire, lateral veins usually branched before margin, occasionally some running into margin, tertiary veins few, only obscurely prominent below, glabrous above and below (rarely pubescent below outside Flora area); stipules 3–4 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers with sepals ovate, 1.5 x 1 mm, whitish, rarely reddish; petals fan-shaped, 1 x 1 mm, 3-toothed; disc shallowly cup-shaped Female flowers with sepals 2 x 1 mm; petals elliptic, c. 1 mm long, tip slightly toothed; outer disc entire, inner disc 2–3-lobed, sometimes laciniate; styles bifid Flowers densely clustered
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Drupe subglobose, with 2 pyrenes, 6–10 x 7–9 mm, becoming reddish-brown or black.
Distribution
S1–3 S Ethiopia, SW to Dem. Rep. Congo (Shaba) & S to Natal, absent from Uganda and inland Kenya.
Ecology
Altitude range 3–450 m.

[FTEA]

Euphorbiaceae, A. R.-Smith. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1987

Morphology General Habit
A spindly scandent evergreen shrub or much-branched small tree with a flat, spreading crown 1–9 m. tall with the ultimate shoots pendent.
Morphology General Bark
Bark grey, greyish-brown or black, rough, reticulate, fissured or stringy.
Morphology Twigs
Twigs brown or purplish brown, prominently lenticellate.
Morphology General Shoots
Young shoots and petioles sparingly pubescent to subglabrous.
Morphology Leaves
Petioles (2–)3–5 mm. long; leaf-blades obovate to elliptic-oblanceolate, (1–)3–12(–18) cm. long, (0.5–)1–5(–8) cm. wide, rounded, obtuse or subacute at apex, cuneate, rounded or rarely shallowly subcordate at base, chartaceous to somewhat coriaceous, lateral nerves (5–)7–11(–18) pairs, usually brochidodromous but very occasionally craspedodromous, not prominent or slightly impressed above, prominent beneath, with a less prominent tertiary nerve-network beneath, glabrous above, evenly to sparingly whitish or ferruginous pubescent or glabrous beneath, pale to dark green and shiny above, often somewhat glaucous beneath with the midrib and main nerves often orange or yellowish.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules lanceolate, 3–4 mm. long, acute or acutely acuminate, sparingly pubescent or subglabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers densely glomerulate, with at least some of the lowest glomerules usually subtended by leaves. Male flowers:pedicels very short, pubescent or glabrous; sepals triangular, 1.5 mm. long, 1 mm. wide, acute, glabrous, greenish, yellowish green or pale yellow; petals flabelliform, 1 mm. long and wide, 5-toothed at the apex; disc saucer-shaped, 1.5–2 mm. across, entire, glabrous; staminal column 1 mm. high; anthers 0.5 mm. long, yellow; pistillode cylindric, 0.5 mm. tall, deeply bifid at the apex. Female flowers sessile or subsessile; sepals ovate, thick, otherwise ± as in the ♂ flowers; petals rhombic, 1 mm. long, less than 1 mm. wide, subentire; outer disc annular, 2 mm. across, inner disc divided into 2 ± triangular toothed lobes enclosing the ovary; ovary ovoid, 1 mm. long, 2-locular; styles 2, free, bifid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Bracts ovate, acute, keeled, sparingly pubescent.
sex Male
Male flowers:pedicels very short, pubescent or glabrous; sepals triangular, 1.5 mm. long, 1 mm. wide, acute, glabrous, greenish, yellowish green or pale yellow; petals flabelliform, 1 mm. long and wide, 5-toothed at the apex; disc saucer-shaped, 1.5–2 mm. across, entire, glabrous; staminal column 1 mm. high; anthers 0.5 mm. long, yellow; pistillode cylindric, 0.5 mm. tall, deeply bifid at the apex.
sex Female
Female flowers sessile or subsessile; sepals ovate, thick, otherwise ± as in the ♂ flowers; petals rhombic, 1 mm. long, less than 1 mm. wide, subentire; outer disc annular, 2 mm. across, inner disc divided into 2 ± triangular toothed lobes enclosing the ovary; ovary ovoid, 1 mm. long, 2-locular; styles 2, free, bifid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits subglobose, 2-locular, 6–10 mm. long, 7–9 mm. wide, green at first later becoming reddish brown or black.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 4.5 mm. long, smooth, shiny, chestnut-brown.
Figures
Fig. 23/1–4, p. 124.
Habitat
Woodland, bushland and thicket, commonly riverine or in rocky places, persisting in secondary associations; 0–2000 m.
Distribution
K7 P T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 Z from Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia south-west to Zaire (Shaba) and south to South Africa (Natal)

Native to:

Angola, Botswana, Caprivi Strip, Ethiopia, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Bridelia cathartica Bertol. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Brenan, J.P.M. [7800], Zambia 2105.000
Kirk, J. [s.n.], Tanzania K000406010
Kirk, J. [s.n.], Tanzania K000406011
Hildebrandt, J.M. [1295], Tanzania K000406012

First published in Mem. Reale Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna 5: 476 (1854)

Accepted by

  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A. (2000). World Checklist and Bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (and Pandaceae) 1-4: 1-1622. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 1, (1993) Author: by M. G. Gilbert [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 194 (1962).
  • A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3(2): 43 (1921).
  • Jabl. in A. Engler, Das Pflanzenreich IV. 147(8): 61 (1915).
  • Hutch. in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 617 (1912).
  • Pax in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 237 (1895).
  • Muell. Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15(2): 502 (1866).
  • Bertol. f. in Mem. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna 5: 476, t. 28 (1854).

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

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
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 2021. 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 2021. 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