Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Kenya to Botswana.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Erect or sometimes scandent woody shrub to 2(–4) m. high, with smooth shiny bark; young branches pubescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate, elliptic, to 4.5 × 2.5 cm., base cuneate, apex rounded and minutely apiculate, margin entire, midrib prominent beneath, young leaves pubescent towards the base; petiole to 1 cm. long, usually pubescent on young leaves; glandular stipules large, reddish.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes of solitary, axillary cyathia, surrounded at the base by 4–8 scarious oblong bracts, ± 2 × 1.5 mm., with finely ciliate margins.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Cyathia
Cyathia subsessile, ± 3 × 5 mm., with funnel-shaped involucres; glands 5, transversely elliptic, ± 1.5 × 2.5 mm., yellowish green, touching; lobes subquadrate, ± 1 mm. long, margin denticulate.
sex Male
Male flowers:bracteoles deeply laciniate, margins ciliate; stamens 3.5 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flower:ovary glabrous, subtended by an obvious 3-lobed perianth; styles 2 mm. long, joined for 1/3, with spreading, bifid apices. Male flowers:bracteoles deeply laciniate, margins ciliate; stamens 3.5 mm. long.
sex Female
Female flower:ovary glabrous, subtended by an obvious 3-lobed perianth; styles 2 mm. long, joined for 1/3, with spreading, bifid apices.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule exserted on a reflexed usually puberulous pedicel to 1 cm. long, deeply 3-lobed with slightly depressed apex, to 8.5 × 10 mm., green often tinged with purple.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovoid, ± 5.5 × 4.5 mm., slightly dorsi-ventrally compressed, smooth, pale grey with a yellow cap-like caruncle 2.5 mm. wide.
Habitat
In Acacia-Commiphora bushland; 500–1500 m.
Distribution
K4 K7 T2 T3 T5 T7

[FZ]

Euphorbiaceae, S. Carter & L.C. Leach. Flora Zambesiaca 9:5. 2001

Morphology General Habit
Erect or occasionally scandent woody shrub to 3 m high, with a smooth shiny bark; young branchlets pubescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves with a petiole to 12 mm long, usually pubescent on young leaves, with long spreading hairs; stipules glandular, conspicuous, reddish; lamina to 4.5(6) × 3 cm, elliptic, rounded and minutely apiculate at the apex, abruptly cuneate at the base, entire, midrib prominent beneath, young leaves pubescent towards the base.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes reduced to solitary, axillary subsessile cyathia, surrounded at the base by 4–8 scarious bracts, c. 2 × 1.5 mm, with finely ciliate margins.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Cyathia
Cyathia c. 3 × 5 mm, with funnel-shaped involucres; glands 5, c. 1.5 × 2.5 mm, transversely elliptic, yellowish-green, touching; lobes c. 1 mm long, subquadrate, margin denticulate.
sex Male
Male flowers: bracteoles deeply laciniate, margins ciliate; stamens 3.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flower: ovary glabrous, subtended by an obvious 3-lobed perianth; styles 2 mm long, joined for one-third, with spreading bifid apices. Male flowers: bracteoles deeply laciniate, margins ciliate; stamens 3.5 mm long.
sex Female
Female flower: ovary glabrous, subtended by an obvious 3-lobed perianth; styles 2 mm long, joined for one-third, with spreading bifid apices.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule to 8.5 × 10 mm, deeply 3-lobed with a slightly depressed apex, green often tinged with purple, exserted on a reflexed, usually puberulous, pedicel to 10 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds c. 5.5 × 4.5 mm, ovoid, slightly dorsi-ventrally compressed, smooth, pale grey; caruncle cap-like, 2.5 mm wide, yellow.

Native to:

Angola, Botswana, Caprivi Strip, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Euphorbia espinosa Pax appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Drummond, R.B. [4274], Kenya 4088.000
Bally, P.R.O. [10451], Kenya 4093.000
Gossweiler, J. [449], Angola K000253089
Angus, A. [151], Zambia K000317955
Fanshawe, D.B. [6661], Zambia K000317956
Winter, B. de [4785], Namibia K000317957

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 19: 120 (1894)

Accepted by

  • Bruyns, P.V. (2012). Nomenclature and typification of southern African species of Euphorbia Bothalia 42: 217-245.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yang, Y., Riina, R., Morawetz, J.J., Haevermans, T., Aubriot, X. & Berry, P.E. (2012). Molecular phylogenetics and classification of Euphorbia subgenus Chamaesyce (Euphorbiaceae) Taxon 61: 764-789.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Curtis, B. & Mannheimer, C. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia: 1-688. The National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 198 (1961).
  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 198 (1962).
  • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 211 (1949).
  • N.E. Br. in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 547 (1911).
  • Pax in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 19: 120 (1894).

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
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