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

        This species is accepted, and its native range is W. & S. Tanzania to S. Tropical Africa.

    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type:Mozambique, on a ridge at the back of Mendwe Chujala-Yala, 1902, W.P. Johnston 316 (K, holotype).
    Habit
    Perennial herb drying grey-green to pale fuscous, with a woody caudex c. 20–40 mm in diameter crowned with many very short closely scaly shoots eventually elongating into stems c. 200–400 mm long, 1–3 mm diameter at base, erect or decumbent, fastigiately well branched from the base or a little higher, branches irregularly racemose-cymose, ascending at angle of c. 45°, eventually almost filiform, up to 200–300 mm long, minutely scabridulous to glabrous, very shallowly ribbed by decurrent scale leaves Perennial herb drying grey-green to pale fuscous, with a woody caudex c. 20–40 mm in diameter crowned with many very short closely scaly shoots eventually elongating into stems c. 200–400 mm long, 1–3 mm diameter at base, erect or decumbent, fastigiately well branched from the base or a little higher, branches irregularly racemose-cymose, ascending at angle of c. 45°, eventually almost filiform, up to 200–300 mm long, minutely scabridulous to glabrous, very shallowly ribbed by decurrent scale leaves.
    Leaves
    Leaves usually all reduced to scales, those at extreme base of stem c. 1.5–2.5 mm long, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, those subtending primary branches c. 2.5–7 × 0.6–1.6 mm, rarely up to c. 2.5 × 0.8 mm (see discussion below), usually lanceolate, rarely linear, or sometimes ovate-lanceolate, cuspidate, thick-textured, margins smooth to minutely ciliolate Leaves usually all reduced to scales, those at extreme base of stem c. 1.5–2.5 mm long, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, those subtending primary branches c. 2.5–7 × 0.6–1.6 mm, rarely up to c. 2.5 × 0.8 mm (see discussion below), usually lanceolate, rarely linear, or sometimes ovate-lanceolate, cuspidate, thick-textured, margins smooth to minutely ciliolate.
    Flowers
    Flowers nearly always on a scaly shoot (primary branch from leaf axil) initially branching racemosely rather than cymosely, irregularly cymose thereafter or occasionally (and always mixed with scaly shoots) a nude peduncle terminating in a flower may develop from the leaf axil, and is soon overtopped by two scaly cymose branches, many branches eventually running up into long filiform scaly apices Flowers nearly always on a scaly shoot (primary branch from leaf axil) initially branching racemosely rather than cymosely, irregularly cymose thereafter or occasionally (and always mixed with scaly shoots) a nude peduncle terminating in a flower may develop from the leaf axil, and is soon overtopped by two scaly cymose branches, many branches eventually running up into long filiform scaly apices.
    Perianth
    Perianth “white”, “cream”, “very pale yellow” or “pale green”; tube 0.5–1 mm long, external ellipsoid glands very obscure; lobes 0.8–1.7 × 0.4–0.7 mm, oblong-lanceolate, subacute, hood 0.3 mm long, margins inflexed, ± erose Perianth “white”, “cream”, “very pale yellow” or “pale green”; tube 0.5–1 mm long, external ellipsoid glands very obscure; lobes 0.8–1.7 × 0.4–0.7 mm, oblong-lanceolate, subacute, hood 0.3 mm long, margins inflexed, ± erose.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long, ± hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.7 mm long Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long, ± hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.7 mm long.
    Style
    Style 1–1.6 mm long; stigma reaching almost to apex of hood
    Ecology
    Woodland, scrub or grassland, on sandy or rocky soils; 650–1800 m.
    Note
    Plants with developed leaves have been included within a broad concept of T. fastigiatum. They seem to occur sporadically over the range of the species, e.g. Hooper & Townsend 414 (BM; K), from Chisenga River between Mwinilunga and Solwezi with leaves up to 17 mm long; Fanshawe 11602 (K) from ‘Makutus’ (presumably Makutu Mts., NE Zambia) with leaves up to 11 mm long, and Nuvunga 569 from Niassa division of Mozambique. The sheet of this last number (in SRGH) comprises 4 very delicately branched stems with leaves up to 25 × 0.8 mm; a second sheet (in BM) comprises 4 much more robustly branched stems, one of which carries leaves up to 10 mm long. These remarkable specimens emphasize the need for field observations over a period of time, already mentioned after the generic description. In Baker & Hill's key (1911), T. fastigiatum is separated from T. tamariscinum on the basis of “stems and leaves more or less hairy” versus “stems and leaves glabrous”. The type of T. fastigiatum is very minutely scabridulous, and so are many more collections from Mozambique; elsewhere over its range, scabrid projections on the stems are either very weakly developed or absent. The main distinguishing feature of the species is its long delicate scaly branches, usually first forking racemosely, later cymosely; in old plants the branches are more or less filiform and flexuous, and up to 200–300 mm long.
    Distribution
    ZAM N, ZAM E, ZAM W, ZAM C, ZIM N, ZIM C, MAL N, MAL C, MOZ N Zambia Also in Dem. Rep. Congo and Tanzania. Mozambique Malawi Zimbabwe
    Bracts
    Bracts c. 5 forming an involucre below the flower, 1–1.4 × 0.6–0.9 mm, ovate-cuspidate, margins ciliolate. Bracts c. 5 forming an involucre below the flower, 1–1.4 × 0.6–0.9 mm, ovate-cuspidate, margins ciliolate
    Pedicel
    Pedicels wanting. Pedicels wanting
    Pistil
    Style 1–1.6 mm long; stigma reaching almost to apex of hood.
    Fruits
    Fruit 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, pale buff to palest dull brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate. Fruit 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, pale buff to palest dull brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate.
    [FTEA]

    Santalaceae, P.M. Polhill, B.A., Ph.D., F.L.S. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

    Habit
    Perennial herb; rootstock woody, irregularly shaped, 1–4 cm across, with many very short closely scaly vegetative buds that eventually elongate into stems; buds 2–4 mm long, the scales straw-coloured, subulate, 1–2 mm long; stems pale brown at base, green above, numerous, erect or decumbent, 30–60 cm high, fastigiately well-branched from the base or a little higher, branches irregularly racemose-cymose, ascending at angle of ± 45°, eventually almost filiform, up to 20–30 cm long, minutely scabridulous to glabrous, very shallowly ribbed by decurrent scale leaves.
    Leaves
    Leaves usually all reduced to scales, those at extreme base of stem ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 1.5–2.5 mm long, those subtending primary branches lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, up to 2.5–7x0.6–1.6 mm, occasionally with developed linear leaves interspersed and up to 25x0.8 mm, cuspidate, thick-textured, margins smooth to minutely ciliolate.
    Flowers
    Flowers sessile, nearly always on a scaly shoot (primary branch from leaf axil) initially branching racemosely rather than cymosely, irregularly cymose thereafter, and occasionally (always mixed with scaly shoots) a nude peduncle terminating in a flower may develop from the leaf axil, and is soon overtopped by two scaly cymose branches, many branches eventually running up into long filiform scaly apices; bracts ± 5 forming an involucre below the flower, ovate-acuminate, 0.8–1.5x0.5–0.9 mm, margins ciliolate.
    Perianth
    Perianth green with orange-buff tips, white inside; tube 0.5–1 mm long, external ellipsoid glands very obscure; lobes oblong-lanceolate, 0.8–1.7 mm long, subacute, hood 0.3 mm long, margins inflexed, ± erose.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long, ± hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.7 mm long.
    Pistil
    Style 1–1.6 mm long; stigma reaching almost to apex of hood.
    Fruits
    Fruit buff to pale brown, ellipsoid-globose, 2.5–3 mm long, 2–2.5 mm in diameter, strongly ribbed and reticulate.
    Figures
    Fig. 1/10–12 (page 4).
    Habitat
    Brachystegia woodland and upland grassland, generally on eroded or bare ground on slopes, on loam, sand or gravel; 450–2200 m
    Distribution
    T4 T8

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

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

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1989 Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi K000431498 lectotype
    Johnson, W.P. [316], Mozambique K000431497 Unknown type material
    Whyte, A. [168], Malawi K000431499

    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1910: 183 (1910)

    Accepted by

    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Polhill, R.M. (2005). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Santalaceae: 1-27.

    Literature

    Flora Zambesiaca
    • F.T.A. 6, 1: 427 (1911). TAB. 47, fig. B.
    • Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1910: 183 (1910).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Baker & Hill in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 427 (1911).
    • A.W.Hill in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1910: 183 (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 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