1. Family: Santalaceae R.Br.
    1. Genus: Thesium L.
      1. Thesium triflorum L.f.

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

    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type from South Africa (Cape).
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long, almost hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long, the two thecae often divergent Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long, almost hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long, the two thecae often divergent.
    Style
    Style 0.5–0.8 mm long; stigma reaching ± base of lobes; placenta twisted
    Fruits
    Fruit c. 4 × 4 mm, globose, fleshy stipe c. 1 mm long, epicarp thin, fleshy, deep orange when ripe, endocarp bony, 5 main veins visible, not raised, some or all branching once at the base, intercostal areas irregularly reticulate. Fruit c. 4 × 4 mm, globose, fleshy stipe c. 1 mm long, epicarp thin, fleshy, deep orange when ripe, endocarp bony, 5 main veins visible, not raised, some or all branching once at the base, intercostal areas irregularly reticulate.
    Ecology
    Thickets, deciduous woodland or fringing evergreen forest; records from Mozambique coastal, from Malawi at c. 2200 m on the Nyika Plateau.
    Note
    The generic position of Thesium triflorum needs investigation: in habit, leaf venation and fleshy fruits the plant resembles Osyridicarpos but it differs in its sessile leaves, bract adnate to the base of the peduncle (though sometimes very briefly), lack of 5 longitudinal external ribs on the perianth tube, and lack of an apiculum terminating the placenta. It differs from species of Thesium in general in its fleshy epicarp and lack of raised ribs on the bony endocarp; its scandent habit is also unusual. It is without affinity among tropical African species; its relationships lie with T. scandens E. Mey. ex A.W. Hill from Cape Province (which is in any case probably synonymous), and possibly with T. galioides A. DC. (Western and Eastern Cape Province), though that species appears to have the bony ribbed fruit typical of Thesium (only Burchell 6412, K, seen).
    Distribution
    Mozambique ZAM E, MAL N, MOZ GI, MOZ M Zambia Malawi Also in Tanzania, South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape) and Swaziland.
    Habit
    Subshrub scrambling to a height of 5 m, but sometimes shorter and possibly ± erect; lower parts of stems apparently simple, either distantly leafy or rough with leaf scars, paniculately branched above, sometimes profusely so; branches distinctly ribbed by raised vascular strands terminating in midribs of leaves and bracts; ribs smooth to minutely scabridulous. Subshrub scrambling to a height of 5 m, but sometimes shorter and possibly ± erect; lower parts of stems apparently simple, either distantly leafy or rough with leaf scars, paniculately branched above, sometimes profusely so; branches distinctly ribbed by raised vascular strands terminating in midribs of leaves and bracts; ribs smooth to minutely scabridulous
    Leaves
    Leaves distant, very variable in size, in the Flora Zambesiaca area mostly c. 15–60 × 1.1–6 mm, smaller on young shoots, linear to oblong, sometimes slightly falcate, apex acute or subacute, base slightly narrowed, margins cartilaginous, smooth to minutely scabridulous, triplinerved, veins slightly raised on both surfaces, smooth to scabridulous. Leaves distant, very variable in size, in the Flora Zambesiaca area mostly c. 15–60 × 1.1–6 mm, smaller on young shoots, linear to oblong, sometimes slightly falcate, apex acute or subacute, base slightly narrowed, margins cartilaginous, smooth to minutely scabridulous, triplinerved, veins slightly raised on both surfaces, smooth to scabridulous
    Flowers
    Flowers in dichasial cymes composed of 3 to innumerable flowers, these further arranged in panicles, pendent (always?), then leaves and bracts reflexed to stand erect in the hanging position. Flowers in dichasial cymes composed of 3 to innumerable flowers, these further arranged in panicles, pendent (always?), then leaves and bracts reflexed to stand erect in the hanging position
    Bracts
    Bracts c. 10–40 × 1.2–6 mm, leaf-like but sometimes reduced to very small bracts at apex of panicle, adnate c. 1–3 mm to base of peduncle; bracteoles 2, usually very small, c. 1–1.5 × 0.5–1.3 mm, ovate, acute, sometimes lowermost pair leaf-like and then up to c. 22 × 1 mm. Bracts c. 10–40 × 1.2–6 mm, leaf-like but sometimes reduced to very small bracts at apex of panicle, adnate c. 1–3 mm to base of peduncle; bracteoles 2, usually very small, c. 1–1.5 × 0.5–1.3 mm, ovate, acute, sometimes lowermost pair leaf-like and then up to c. 22 × 1 mm
    Peduncles
    Primary peduncles c. 6–95 mm long, progressively smaller upwards, flowers ± sessile. Primary peduncles c. 6–95 mm long, progressively smaller upwards, flowers ± sessile
    Perianth
    Perianth “green outside, white within”; tube 0.7–1 mm long, external glands inconspicuous, broadly ellipsoid; lobes 1.2–1.4 × 1.1–1.4 mm, triangular, subacute, margins flat, glabrous. Perianth “green outside, white within”; tube 0.7–1 mm long, external glands inconspicuous, broadly ellipsoid; lobes 1.2–1.4 × 1.1–1.4 mm, triangular, subacute, margins flat, glabrous
    Pistil
    Style 0.5–0.8 mm long; stigma reaching ± base of lobes; placenta twisted.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Small shrub scrambling 1.5–6 m or straggling if unsupported; stem slender and rough with leaf scars below, much branched above, leafy and grading into extensive leafy panicles; branches distinctly ribbed by raised vascular strands terminating in midribs of leaves and bracts.
    Leaves
    Leaves all well developed and well spaced, grading into bracts, linear to oblong, sometimes slightly falcate, very variable in size, mostly 10–60x(1–)2–6 mm, smaller on young shoots, acute to obtuse, base slightly narrowed, margins cartilaginous, smooth to minutely scabridulous, 3-nerved, veins slightly raised on both surfaces, smooth to scabridulous.
    Flowers
    Flowers subsessile in dichasial cymes composed of 3–many flowers, these further arranged in panicles, in scandent plants pendent with the leaves and bracts reflexed to stand erect in the hanging position; bracts mostly 10–40x1.2–6 mm, leaf-like but sometimes reduced at apex of panicle, adnate ± 1–3 mm to base of peduncle; bracteoles 2, ovate, ± 1–1.5x0.5–1.3 mm, acute, sometimes lowermost pair leaf-like and then up to ± 22x1 mm; primary peduncles ± 6–95 mm long, progressively smaller upwards.
    Perianth
    Perianth greenish yellow outside, yellow to cream or white inside; tube 0.7–1 mm long, external glands inconspicuous, broadly ellipsoid; lobes triangular, 1.2–1.4 mm long, subacute, slightly hooded, margins flat, glabrous.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted at base of perianth lobes; filaments 0.3–0.5 mm long, almost hidden by anthers; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long.
    Pistil
    Style 0.5–0.8 mm long; stigma reaching ± base of lobes; placenta twisted.
    Fruits
    Fruit orange to red when ripe, ellipsoid-globose to globose, 4–5 mm long, 3–5 mm in diameter, epicarp thin, fleshy, endocarp bony, 5 main veins visible, only slightly raised, some or all branching once at the base, intercostal areas irregularly reticulate; stipe up to 1 mm long.
    Figures
    Fig. 2 (page 8).
    Habitat
    Edges of wet and dry montane forest, heath scrub; 1500–2700 m
    Distribution
    T3 T6 T7 ;(Nyika Plateau), then disjunctly to southern Mozambique and South Africa to the Eastern Cape Province (see Brummitt, loc. cit. (1976))

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Cape Provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia

    Thesium triflorum L.f. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Milne-Redhead, E. [11040], Tanzania 31160.000
    Robinson, E.A. [s.n.], Mozambique K000431524 Unknown type material
    Bidgood, S. [5255], Tanzania K000190483
    Drummond, R.B. [1658], Tanzania Osyridicarpos linearifolius 23489.000

    First published in Suppl. Pl.: 162 (1782)

    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.
    • 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
    • White, Dowsett-Lemaire & Chapman, Evergr. For. Fl. Malawi: 520 (2001). TAB. 44.
    • Kew Bull. 31: 176 (1976).
    • Vierteljahrsschr. Naturf. Ges. Zürich 106: 400, fig. 5 (1961).
    • Burtt Davy, Fl. Pl. Ferns Transvaal, part 2: 462 (1932).
    • Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1915: 12, fig. 2 (1915)
    • F.C. 5, 2: 155 (1915).
    • Fl. Cap. ed. Schultes: 211 (1823).
    • Thunberg, Prodr. Pl. Cap., part 1: 46 (1794)
    • Suppl. Pl.: 162 (1782).
    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
    • White, Dowsett-Lemaire & Chapman, Evergreen For. Fl. Malawi: 520 (2001).
    • Brummitt in Kew Bulletin 31: 176 (1976).
    • Stauffer in Viert. Nat. Ges. Zürich 106: 400, fig. 5 (1961).
    • N.E. Brown in Burtt Davy, Fl. Pl. & Ferns Trans.: 462 (1932).
    • Hill in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1915: 12, fig. 2 (1915)
    • Hill in F.C. 5(2): 155 (1915).
    • Thunberg, Fl. Cap., ed. Schultes: 211 (1823).
    • Thunberg, Prodr. Pl. Cap.: 46 (1794)
    • L.f., Suppl. Pl.: 162 (1782).

    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