1. Family: Santalaceae R.Br.
    1. Genus: Thesium L.
      1. Thesium dissitum N.E.Br.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Tropical Africa to N. Botswana.

    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type:Botswana, in the Kalahari Desert near Mamunwe, 26.ii.1897, E.J. Lugard 239 (K, holotype).
    Habit
    Perennial with a woody taproot up to c. 10 mm diameter at the crown; stems several tufted from the crown, c. 150–450 mm long, erect or possibly sometimes spreading, well branched from the base, branches ascending, ribbed by decurrent leaves, leafy Perennial with a woody taproot up to c. 10 mm diameter at the crown; stems several tufted from the crown, c. 150–450 mm long, erect or possibly sometimes spreading, well branched from the base, branches ascending, ribbed by decurrent leaves, leafy.
    Leaves
    Leaves ascending to spreading, primary ones on main stems c. 15–45 × 0.8–1.3 mm, shorter upwards and passing into bracts, linear, apex apiculate, margins cartilaginous, very minutely scabridulous to smooth Leaves ascending to spreading, primary ones on main stems c. 15–45 × 0.8–1.3 mm, shorter upwards and passing into bracts, linear, apex apiculate, margins cartilaginous, very minutely scabridulous to smooth.
    Flowers
    Flowers either solitary in the axil of each bract or in 3-flowered cymules, c. 5–15 racemosely arranged, inflorescences lax, sometimes with cymules in lower part, solitary flowers in upper, though terminating in a cymule Flowers either solitary in the axil of each bract or in 3-flowered cymules, c. 5–15 racemosely arranged, inflorescences lax, sometimes with cymules in lower part, solitary flowers in upper, though terminating in a cymule.
    Pedicel
    Pedicels/peduncles 2–15 mm long
    Style
    Style 0.4–0.9 mm long; stigma reaching top of tube
    Ecology
    Brachystegia and other mixed woodland; c. 900–1400 m.
    Note
    Thesium dissitum seems to be very close to T. mukense: both have long leaves and long bracts adnate up to the bracteoles, but T. dissitum has a woody taproot while T. mukense has woody stolons, and the pedicels/peduncles of T. dissitum are mostly longer than those of T. mukense. N.E. Brown quoted the type of T. dissitum as having come from the Kalahari Desert near Mamunwe, a name not traced, nor is Lugard's route when he visited Lake Ngami clear to me, though he is known to have collected along the Boteti R. and around the Khwebe Hills. The specimen comprises four short, closely leafy stems just coming into flower; the most striking features are the long leaves, long bracts adnate to the pedicels right up to the bracteoles and far overtopping the flowers, which are borne either singly or in 3-flowered cymules in the axil of each bract, with at least 15 pedicels/peduncles in the inflorescence. The material here associated with the type agrees in all these essential features but nevertheless I am not satisfied that it is homogeneous. For example, Fanshawe 10177 (cited above) comprises two old twigs with a galled fruit, and a few young flowers; the leaves are patent to reflexed, while they are ascending in all other specimens seen. Banda 137 (also cited above) differs in having leaves mostly shorter than usual. Another specimen (Barbosa 1451, LISC, from Rutanda in Mozambique, near the Zimbabwean border at Mutare) is in the affinity of T. dissitum but has bracts and pedicels rather short for that species; no primary leaves remain. Clearly, before T. dissitum can be fully understood, many more good collections are needed, over a wide geographical area.
    Distribution
    Mozambique Malawi Zimbabwe Zambia BOT N, ZAM N, ZAM S, ZIM N, ZIM C, ZIM W, MAL S, MOZ T Botswana Not known elsewhere.
    Bracts
    Bracts 8–23 × 0.5–1.2 mm, linear, leaf-like, sometimes adnate to entire pedicel but only to lower part of peduncle in a single inflorescence, or wholly adnate (partial adnation in longest peduncles); bracteoles 2, c. 4–9 × 0.5–0.8 mm. Bracts 8–23 × 0.5–1.2 mm, linear, leaf-like, sometimes adnate to entire pedicel but only to lower part of peduncle in a single inflorescence, or wholly adnate (partial adnation in longest peduncles); bracteoles 2, c. 4–9 × 0.5–0.8 mm
    Pedicels and Peduncles
    Pedicels/peduncles 2–15 mm long.
    Perianth
    Perianth probably yellowish-green; tube 0.6–0.9 mm long, external glands ellipsoid, inconspicuous; lobes 1.2–1.4 × 0.6–0.8 mm, triangular, acute, white-bearded from the apex. Perianth probably yellowish-green; tube 0.6–0.9 mm long, external glands ellipsoid, inconspicuous; lobes 1.2–1.4 × 0.6–0.8 mm, triangular, acute, white-bearded from the apex
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.2–0.5 mm long, hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.6 mm long. Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.2–0.5 mm long, hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.6 mm long
    Pistil
    Style 0.4–0.9 mm long; stigma reaching top of tube.
    Fruits
    Fruit 2.5–3 × 2.5–3 mm, light brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate. Fruit 2.5–3 × 2.5–3 mm, light brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Thesium dissitum N.E.Br. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1989 Fanshawe, D.B. [10177], Zambia K000057609
    Jan 1, 1989 White, F. [7263], Zambia K000057610
    Jan 1, 1989 Wild, H. [3700], Zimbabwe K000057611
    Jan 1, 1989 Macuacua, L. [1404], Mozambique K000057612
    Lugard, E.J. [239], Botswana K000057613 Unknown type material

    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1909: 137 (1909)

    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
    • F.T.A. 6, 1: 417 (1911).
    • Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1909: 137 (1909).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    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