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

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to W. & S. Ethiopia and Zambia.

    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Perennial herb; rootstock generally narrow and elongate, sometimes (particularly in the Rift Valley region of Kenya) 1–several-forked at the apex and ± shortly rhizomatous; vegetative buds, if evident, 1–2 mm long; stems many, tufted from the crown (top of the rootstock), sprawling with age, 10–40 cm long, well-branched from the base, leafy, weakly ribbed by decurrent leaves.
    Leaves
    Leaves almost all well developed, only a few small scale leaves at the base, green, ascending, linear, 10–20(–25)x0.8–1.2(–2) mm, somewhat shorter at the base, apex apiculate, margins pale, cartilaginous, smooth, with midrib evident.
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary in the axils of the bracts, 1–5(–7) laxly arranged at the tips of all the branchlets, oldest at apex; bracts adnate to the entire pedicel, leaf-like, linear, ± 12–25x0.8–1.2 mm; bracteoles 2, ± 3.5–11x0.5–0.8 mm; pedicels 0.5–5 mm long.
    Perianth
    Perianth green outside, white inside; tube 0.5–0.7 mm long, external glands ellipsoid below sinuses of lobes or inconspicuous; lobes triangular, 0.8–1 mm long, acute, white-bearded from apex.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments ± 0.25 mm long, visible; anthers 0.25–0.3 mm long.
    Pistil
    Style 0.2–0.7 mm long; stigma reaching about halfway up anthers or a little above.
    Fruits
    Fruit pale yellowish or reddish brown, subglobose, 2.2–2.5(–3) mm long, 2–2.5(–2.8) mm in diameter, strongly ribbed and reticulate; stipe 1–1.5 mm long.
    Habitat
    Upland grassland, wooded and seasonally flooded grassland, Brachystegia woodland and mixed bushland, sometimes after fires or in disturbed places, on loam or clay; 1050–2300 m
    Distribution
    K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 T1 T4 T5 T7 U1 U2 U3
    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type from southern Sudan.
    Style
    Style 0.2–0.7 mm long; stigma reaching about halfway up anthers
    Ecology
    Wet marshy grassland.
    Note
    Easily recognized among its immediate allies by its well branched habit, lax, few-flowered “racemes” terminating each twiglet, and very long bracts adnate right up to the bracteoles, which contributes to the leafy aspect of the plant.
    Distribution
    Also recorded from southern Sudan, Rwanda and Katanga (Shaba) Province of Dem. Rep. Congo, but clearly an under-collected species. Malawi ZAM N, MAL S Zambia
    Habit
    Perennial herb with a small woody caudex; stems many, tufted from the crown, c. 100–200 mm long, well branched from the base, weakly ribbed by decurrent leaves, leafy. Perennial herb with a small woody caudex; stems many, tufted from the crown, c. 100–200 mm long, well branched from the base, weakly ribbed by decurrent leaves, leafy
    Leaves
    Leaves ascending, mostly c. 12–20 × 0.8–1.1 mm, somewhat shorter at the base, linear, apex apiculate, margins pale, cartilaginous, smooth. Leaves ascending, mostly c. 12–20 × 0.8–1.1 mm, somewhat shorter at the base, linear, apex apiculate, margins pale, cartilaginous, smooth
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary in the axils of the bracts, 1–5 laxly arranged at the tips of all the branchlets, oldest at apex. Flowers solitary in the axils of the bracts, 1–5 laxly arranged at the tips of all the branchlets, oldest at apex
    Bracts
    Bracts c. 12–25 × 0.8–1.2 mm, linear, leaf-like, adnate to the entire pedicel; bracteoles 2, c. 3.5–11 × 0.5–0.8 mm. Bracts c. 12–25 × 0.8–1.2 mm, linear, leaf-like, adnate to the entire pedicel; bracteoles 2, c. 3.5–11 × 0.5–0.8 mm
    Pedicel
    Pedicels c. 0.5–5 mm long. Pedicels c. 0.5–5 mm long
    Perianth
    Perianth green; tube 0.5–0.7 mm long, external glands inconspicuous; lobes 0.8–1 × 0.5–0.7 mm, triangular, acute, white-bearded from apex. Perianth green; tube 0.5–0.7 mm long, external glands inconspicuous; lobes 0.8–1 × 0.5–0.7 mm, triangular, acute, white-bearded from apex
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments c. 0.25 mm long, visible; anthers 0.25–0.3 mm long. Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments c. 0.25 mm long, visible; anthers 0.25–0.3 mm long
    Pistil
    Style 0.2–0.7 mm long; stigma reaching about halfway up anthers.
    Fruits
    Fruit 2.2–2.5 × 2.5 mm, pale yellowish- or reddish-brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate. Fruit 2.2–2.5 × 2.5 mm, pale yellowish- or reddish-brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre

    Thesium schweinfurthii Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jul 1, 2004 Michel, G. [4655], Rwanda K000431444 Unknown type material
    Schweinfurth, G. [1909], Sudan K000431456 Unknown type material

    First published in Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas, C: 168 (1895)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • 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
    • F.T.A. 6, 1: 416 (1911).
    • Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas C: 168 (1895).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, 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.
    • Lewalle, J. (1970). Liste floristique et répartition altitudinale de la flore du Burundi occidental: 1-84. Université officielle de Bujumbura.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 159 (1994), pro minore parte.
    • A.G. Miller in Fl. Eth. & Erit. 3: 380, fig. 116.1.11–13 (1989).
    • Baker & Hill in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 416 (1911).
    • Engl., Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 168 (1895).

    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