1. Family: Santalaceae R.Br.
    1. Genus: Thesium L.
      1. Thesium asterias A.W.Hill

        This species is accepted, and its native range is E. Zimbabwe to S. Africa.

    [FZ]

    Flora Zambesiaca. Vol. 9, Part 3. Polygonaceae-Myriaceae. Pope GV, Polhill RM, Martins ES. 2006.

    Type
    Syntypes from South Africa (Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces) and Swaziland; lectotype, chosen here: Swaziland, Havelock Concession, c. 1219 m, fl. & fr. 2.ix.1890, Saltmarshe 1008 (K, lectotype).
    Habit
    Perennial herb with small woody caudex; stems few, tufted from the crown, c. 200–400 mm tall, simple below, virgately branched above, ribbed by raised vascular strands terminating in midrib of leaves and bracts, leafy Perennial herb with small woody caudex; stems few, tufted from the crown, c. 200–400 mm tall, simple below, virgately branched above, ribbed by raised vascular strands terminating in midrib of leaves and bracts, leafy.
    Pedicel
    Pedicels/peduncles 1.5–5 mm long
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.3 mm long, hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.3 mm long, hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long.
    Style
    Style none; stigma sessile
    Fruits
    Fruit 3.5 × 3.25 mm with conspicuous stipe 2–2.5 mm long, light yellowish- to reddish-brown, strongly ribbed, reticulations almost invisible. Fruit 3.5 × 3.25 mm with conspicuous stipe 2–2.5 mm long, light yellowish- to reddish-brown, strongly ribbed, reticulations almost invisible.
    Ecology
    Grassland, c. 1900–2140 m.
    Note
    Easily recognized among species with the perianth lobes bearded from the apex by the perianth lobes very long, the tube relatively short and with prominent rounded glands, and the sessile stigma.
    Distribution
    Mozambique ZIM E, MOZ MS Zimbabwe Also in South Africa (Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces) and Swaziland.
    Leaves
    Leaves sharply ascending, c. 15–30 × 0.8–1.2 mm, smaller upwards and passing into bracts, linear, apex apiculate, margins smooth or very sparsely and minutely scabridulous, midrib raised on both surfaces. Leaves sharply ascending, c. 15–30 × 0.8–1.2 mm, smaller upwards and passing into bracts, linear, apex apiculate, margins smooth or very sparsely and minutely scabridulous, midrib raised on both surfaces
    Flowers
    Flowers either solitary or in 3-flowered cymules (the 2 lateral flowers rarely develop), racemosely arranged at branch tips, the whole forming a very loose panicle, c. 2–9 flowers or cymules in each inflorescence, distant. Flowers either solitary or in 3-flowered cymules (the 2 lateral flowers rarely develop), racemosely arranged at branch tips, the whole forming a very loose panicle, c. 2–9 flowers or cymules in each inflorescence, distant
    Bracts
    Bracts (lowermost) c. 9–15 × 0.8–1.1 mm, leaf-like, adnate almost or quite to top of pedicel/peduncle; bracteoles 2, c. 2.5–4.5 × 0.4–0.8 mm. Bracts (lowermost) c. 9–15 × 0.8–1.1 mm, leaf-like, adnate almost or quite to top of pedicel/peduncle; bracteoles 2, c. 2.5–4.5 × 0.4–0.8 mm
    Pedicels and Peduncles
    Pedicels/peduncles 1.5–5 mm long.
    Perianth
    Perianth greenish; tube 0.4–0.8 mm long, external glands conspicuous, almost globose; lobes 2.2–2.8 × 0.8 mm, linear-oblong, acute, densely white-bearded from apex, much shorter hairs fringing the slightly inflexed margins. Perianth greenish; tube 0.4–0.8 mm long, external glands conspicuous, almost globose; lobes 2.2–2.8 × 0.8 mm, linear-oblong, acute, densely white-bearded from apex, much shorter hairs fringing the slightly inflexed margins
    Pistil
    Style none; stigma sessile.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Cape Provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

    Thesium asterias A.W.Hill appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1989 Saltmarshe, E. [1008], South Africa K000431694 lectotype
    Gerrard, W.T. [333], South Africa K000431695 Unknown type material
    Rehmann, A. [5958], South Africa K000431696 Unknown type material
    Rehmann, A. [4013], South Africa K000431698 Unknown type material
    Rehmann, A. [5959], South Africa K000431699 Unknown type material
    Polt, R. [4716], South Africa K000431697

    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1915: 23 (1915)

    Accepted by

    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

    Literature

    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Burtt Davy, Fl. Pl. Ferns Transvaal, part 2: 459 (1932). TAB. 48, fig. D.
    • Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1915: 23 (1915) cum. tab.
    • F.C. 5, 2: 183 (1915).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    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 2019. 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 2019. 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