1. Family: Santalaceae R.Br.
    1. Genus: Thesium L.
      1. Thesium kilimandscharicum Engl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to N. Malawi.

    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type from Tanzania.
    Style
    Style 0.2–0.25 mm long; stigma reaching top of anthers
    Ecology
    Grassland or scrub, montane.
    Note
    See further under T. nigricans. Thesium kilimandscharicum is easily recognized by its 3–4-lobed glabrous perianth, the tube so short that it is completely hidden inside by the thick disk, and the very short style, seldom more than 3 mm long. The types of T. rungwense (from Mt. Rungwe in the Livingstone Mts.) and T. ulugurense (from the Uluguru Mts.) have exactly similar flowers and differ from the type of T. kilimandscharicum merely in the degree of laxness in branching. The species is possibly almost confined to the mountains of Tanzania, just entering northernmost Malawi, where there is a single record, cited above, from the Nyika Plateau.
    Distribution
    MAL N Malawi Also in Tanzania.
    Habit
    Herb, possibly annual; taproot 1–3 mm diameter at crown; stem ± divaricately well branched from the base; branches c. 90–260 mm long, probably prostrate to suberect, broadly ribbed by the decurrent leaves, distinctly channelled between the ribs, leafy, drying fuscous. Herb, possibly annual; taproot 1–3 mm diameter at crown; stem ± divaricately well branched from the base; branches c. 90–260 mm long, probably prostrate to suberect, broadly ribbed by the decurrent leaves, distinctly channelled between the ribs, leafy, drying fuscous
    Leaves
    Leaves ascending-recurved to spreading, main ones c. 8–20 × 0.8–1 mm, linear, apiculate, margins smooth, ventral surface flat, dorsal ± rounded. Leaves ascending-recurved to spreading, main ones c. 8–20 × 0.8–1 mm, linear, apiculate, margins smooth, ventral surface flat, dorsal ± rounded
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary in axils of bracts, c. 3–5 in short axillary and terminal racemes, racemes crowded or lax. Flowers solitary in axils of bracts, c. 3–5 in short axillary and terminal racemes, racemes crowded or lax
    Bracts
    Bracts c. 2.5–6 × 0.8–1 mm, or sometimes shorter, leaf-like, adnate to very short pedicel; bracteoles 2, similar to bracts but smaller. Bracts c. 2.5–6 × 0.8–1 mm, or sometimes shorter, leaf-like, adnate to very short pedicel; bracteoles 2, similar to bracts but smaller
    Pedicel
    Pedicels up to c. 0.75 mm long, or upper flowers sessile. Pedicels up to c. 0.75 mm long, or upper flowers sessile
    Perianth
    Perianth “green”; tube very short, inside of perianth completely hidden by the thick disk, external glands minute, almost globose; lobes 3–4, 0.5–0.9 × 0.6–0.8 mm, triangular, subacute, glabrous. Perianth “green”; tube very short, inside of perianth completely hidden by the thick disk, external glands minute, almost globose; lobes 3–4, 0.5–0.9 × 0.6–0.8 mm, triangular, subacute, glabrous
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.3 mm long, visible; anthers 0.2–0.3 mm long. Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.3 mm long, visible; anthers 0.2–0.3 mm long
    Pistil
    Style 0.2–0.25 mm long; stigma reaching top of anthers.
    Fruits
    Fruit 1.5–1.8 × 1.5–1.8 mm, light reddish-brown, weakly ribbed and reticulate, stipe c. 0.75 mm long, pale. Fruit 1.5–1.8 × 1.5–1.8 mm, light reddish-brown, weakly ribbed and reticulate, stipe c. 0.75 mm long, pale.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Annual or short-lived perennial, often rather yellowish green; stems numerous from the crown of the taproot, prostrate to tufted, 9–40 cm long, divaricately well-branched from the base, densely leafy, broadly ribbed by the decurrent leaves, distinctly channelled between the ribs.
    Leaves
    Leaves ascending-recurved to spreading, linear, main ones mostly 5–20x0.8–1 mm, apiculate, margins smooth, ± rounded on the back.
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary in axils of bracts, 3–5 in short axillary and terminal racemes; bracts adnate to very short pedicel, leaf-like, mostly 2.5–6x0.8–1 mm; bracteoles 2, similar to bracts but smaller; pedicels up to 0.75 mm long.
    Perianth
    Perianth yellow-green, white or yellowish inside; tube very short, inside the perianth tube completely hidden by the thick disk, external glands minute, almost globose; lobes (3–)4(–5), triangular, 0.5–1 mm long, subacute, glabrous.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments visible, 0.1–0.3 mm long; anthers 0.2–0.3 mm long.
    Pistil
    Style 0.2–0.3(–0.7) mm long; stigma reaching top of anthers or occasionally higher.
    Fruits
    Fruit light reddish brown, ellipsoid-globose, 1.5–2 mm long, 1.25–1.8 mm in diameter, weakly ribbed and reticulate; stipe pale, 0.5–0.75 mm long.
    Habitat
    Montane grassland, heath scrub and afroalpine zone, on peaty and stony ground; 2200–4200 m
    Distribution
    K2 K3 K4 T2 T4 T6 T7

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania

    Thesium kilimandscharicum Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Mar 1, 2004 Stuhlmann [9206], Tanzania K000431465 isosyntype
    Volkens, G. [952], Tanzania K000431462
    Volkens, G. [1871], Tanzania K000431463
    Goetze [1156], Tanzania K000431464 Unknown type material

    First published in Abh. Königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1891(2): 200 (1892)

    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.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.

    Literature

    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 9: 65 (1954).
    • F.T.A. 6, 1: 424 (1911).
    • Hochgebirgsfl. Afrika: 200 (1892).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 159 (1994).
    • A.G. Miller in Fl. Eth. & Erit. 3: 379, fig. 116.1.8–10 (1989).
    • O. Hedberg, Afroalpine Vascular Plants p. 75 (1957).
    • Brenan in Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 9: 65 (1954).
    • Peter, Flora von Deutsch-Ostafrika 2: 142 (1932).
    • Baker & Hill in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 424 (1911).
    • Engl., Hochgebirgsfl. Trop. Afr.: 200 (1892).

    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