1. Family: Santalaceae R.Br.
    1. Genus: Thesium L.
      1. Thesium thamnus Robyns & Lawalrée

        This species is accepted, and its native range is SW. Tanzania to Zimbabwe.

    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type from Dem. Rep. Congo (Katanga (Shaba) Province, 40 km SE of Lubumbashi).
    Pedicel
    Pedicels wanting Pedicels wanting.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.5 mm long, almost or quite hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.8 mm long Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.5 mm long, almost or quite hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.8 mm long.
    Style
    Style 1–1.8 mm long; stigma reaching tip of hood
    Fruits
    Fruit 2.3–3 × 2–2.5 mm, pale buff to palest brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate. Fruit 2.3–3 × 2–2.5 mm, pale buff to palest brown, strongly ribbed and reticulate.
    Ecology
    Grassland on margins of dambos or in chipya woodland; also on Great Dyke; c. 1250–1350 m.
    Note
    Recorded along the Dem. Rep. Congo-Zambia border between Solwezi and Bwana Mkubwa, then further south near Lusaka, and in Zimbabwe west and south of Harare. Allied to T. cinereum A.W. Hill (1910) from Angola, but that is a more delicate-looking plant with linear-lanceolate bracts c. 0.3 mm broad at the base, and T. setulosum Robyns & Lawalrée (1961) from Dem. Rep. Congo, but that species is decidedly stoloniferous at the base, and lacks the thick woody caudex of T. thamnus. Its closest ally appears to be T. unyikense, which it greatly resembles in facies, but from which it is distinguished by its distinctly hairy stems, etc.; also, the scales at the base of the stems are mostly longer, the perianth tube often shorter.
    Distribution
    Also in Katanga (Shaba) Province of Dem. Rep. Congo. ZAM W, ZAM C, ZIM N Zambia Zimbabwe
    Habit
    Perennial herb drying grey-green or slightly fuscous, with a woody caudex 20–30 mm in diameter, crowned with very many short closely scaly shoots eventually developing into stems c. 150–300 mm long, 1.5–3 mm diameter at base, decumbent to erect, well branched and floriferous almost from base, branches ascending at angle of c. 45°, weakly ribbed by decurrent scales, closely scaly near base, more distantly so above, hairy at least on lower part of stems and hairs there up to 0.3–0.5 mm long, hairs stout, unicellular, patent, shorter upwards and usually extending to backs of bracts, outside of perianth, especially ovary and fruit. Perennial herb drying grey-green or slightly fuscous, with a woody caudex 20–30 mm in diameter, crowned with very many short closely scaly shoots eventually developing into stems c. 150–300 mm long, 1.5–3 mm diameter at base, decumbent to erect, well branched and floriferous almost from base, branches ascending at angle of c. 45°, weakly ribbed by decurrent scales, closely scaly near base, more distantly so above, hairy at least on lower part of stems and hairs there up to 0.3–0.5 mm long, hairs stout, unicellular, patent, shorter upwards and usually extending to backs of bracts, outside of perianth, especially ovary and fruit
    Leaves
    Leaves all reduced to scales, sharply ascending and incurved, those at extreme base of stem 3–7 mm long, those subtending branches 2–7 × 1–2 mm, lanceolate-cuspidate, thick-textured, margins (as well as backs) usually ciliolate. Leaves all reduced to scales, sharply ascending and incurved, those at extreme base of stem 3–7 mm long, those subtending branches 2–7 × 1–2 mm, lanceolate-cuspidate, thick-textured, margins (as well as backs) usually ciliolate
    Flowers
    Flowers initially solitary at tips of nude peduncles, 2–20 mm long (measured from axil of bract to first flower), often 2 peduncles from one axil, later overtopped by 1 or 2 branches arising immediately or shortly below terminal flower; these may branch again, producing either a nude peduncle terminating in a flower, or a slender bracteate shoot, a bud sometimes present in the axil of each bract, or sometimes absent and then shoot presumably assimilatory only. Flowers initially solitary at tips of nude peduncles, 2–20 mm long (measured from axil of bract to first flower), often 2 peduncles from one axil, later overtopped by 1 or 2 branches arising immediately or shortly below terminal flower; these may branch again, producing either a nude peduncle terminating in a flower, or a slender bracteate shoot, a bud sometimes present in the axil of each bract, or sometimes absent and then shoot presumably assimilatory only
    Bracts
    Bracts c. 4 or 5 forming an involucre below the flower, c. 1.3–2.1 × 0.7–1.1 mm, ovate-lanceolate, cuspidate, resembling those on stems. Bracts c. 4 or 5 forming an involucre below the flower, c. 1.3–2.1 × 0.7–1.1 mm, ovate-lanceolate, cuspidate, resembling those on stems
    Perianth
    Perianth creamy or white inside; tube 0.5–1 mm long, external glands obscure, ellipsoid; lobes 1.1–1.4 × 0.4–0.6 mm, oblong, obtuse, hood c. 0.3 mm long, margins inflexed, erose. Perianth creamy or white inside; tube 0.5–1 mm long, external glands obscure, ellipsoid; lobes 1.1–1.4 × 0.4–0.6 mm, oblong, obtuse, hood c. 0.3 mm long, margins inflexed, erose
    Pistil
    Style 1–1.8 mm long; stigma reaching tip of hood.
    [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, 1–3 cm across, with very many short scaly buds that eventually elongate into stems; buds 2–5 mm long, the scales straw-coloured (the outer ones sometimes brown-tinged), subulate, ciliate; stems grey-green, numerous, ascending to erect, 10–30 cm high, well-branched and floriferous almost from the base, the branches ascending at an angle of ± 45°, relatively short; stems hairy at least on the lower part, weakly ribbed by decurrent scale leaves; hairs stiff, spreading, parallel-sided, appearing almost glandular, 0.1–0.5 mm long, shorter upwards but extending on to back of bracts.
    Leaves
    Leaves all reduced to scales, lanceolate-acuminate, 2–7x1–2 mm, ciliate and hairy outside.
    Flowers
    Flowers initially solitary at tips of nude peduncles, the peduncles 2–20 mm long and often two from one axil, later overtopped by 1–2 branches arising immediately or shortly below the terminal flower; these may branch again, producing a nude peduncle terminating in a flower or a sterile scaly shoot; bracts ± 4–5, forming an involucre below the flower, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 1.3–2.5x0.7–1.1 mm, ciliate and hairy on the back.
    Perianth
    Perianth white inside; tube 0.5–1 mm long, external glands obscure, ellipsoid; lobes 5(–6), oblong, 1.1–1.4 mm long, obtuse with a hood ± 0.3 mm long, margins inflexed, erose.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of the perianth lobes; filaments 0.1–0.5 mm long, largely hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.8 mm long.
    Pistil
    Style 1–1.8 mm long; stigma reaching to top of the anthers or apex of the hood.
    Fruits
    Fruit buff to pale brown, 2.8–3.5 mm long, 2–2.5 mm in diameter, strongly ribbed and reticulate.
    Habitat
    Grassland subject to burning; 1500–1900 m
    Distribution
    T7

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Thesium thamnus Robyns & Lawalrée appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Bull. Jard. Bot. État Bruxelles 31: 522 (1961)

    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
    • Bull. Jard. Bot. État 31: 522 (1961).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • 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.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Robyns & Lawalrée in Bulletin du Jardin botanique de l'État a Bruxelles 31: 522 (1961).

    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

    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