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

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

    [FZ]

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

    Type
    Type from Tanzania (Livingstone Mts.).
    Habit
    Perennial herb with a short woody stoloniferous caudex up to c. 30 mm in diameter, crowned with many very short densely scaly vegetative buds that elongate into flowering stems 100–300 mm long, simple to sparingly branched, branches virgate, sharply ascending, ribbed by strongly raised vascular strands terminating in midrib of leaves and bracts, closely leafy, often nearly the whole stem floriferous Perennial herb with a short woody stoloniferous caudex up to c. 30 mm in diameter, crowned with many very short densely scaly vegetative buds that elongate into flowering stems 100–300 mm long, simple to sparingly branched, branches virgate, sharply ascending, ribbed by strongly raised vascular strands terminating in midrib of leaves and bracts, closely leafy, often nearly the whole stem floriferous.
    Leaves
    Leaves at extreme base of stem reduced to scales c. 4–8 × 1–2 mm, lanceolate-subulate, straw-coloured; developed leaves green, sharply ascending, lower ones often incurved, 5–15 × 1–1.6 mm, linear-lanceolate to linear, acuminate, apiculate, margins cartilaginous, pale, sometimes minutely ciliolate near base, ventral surface flat, dorsal surface keeled by strongly raised midrib Leaves at extreme base of stem reduced to scales c. 4–8 × 1–2 mm, lanceolate-subulate, straw-coloured; developed leaves green, sharply ascending, lower ones often incurved, 5–15 × 1–1.6 mm, linear-lanceolate to linear, acuminate, apiculate, margins cartilaginous, pale, sometimes minutely ciliolate near base, ventral surface flat, dorsal surface keeled by strongly raised midrib.
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary, sessile in the axil of each bract, (10)20–70 in long crowded spikes often with a long leafy sterile tip Flowers solitary, sessile in the axil of each bract, (10)20–70 in long crowded spikes often with a long leafy sterile tip.
    Bracts
    Bracts c. 4.5–11 × 1–2.4 mm, leaf-like; bracteoles 2, similar to bracts but often smaller, particularly narrower Bracts c. 4.5–11 × 1–2.4 mm, leaf-like; bracteoles 2, similar to bracts but often smaller, particularly narrower.
    Style
    Style 2.5–5.5 mm long; stigma nearly reaching top of perianth lobes
    Ecology
    Grassland; 1500–2300 m.
    Note
    Easily recognized by its tufted, leafy, and often simple, stems, floriferous nearly to the base, flowers many in long crowded spikes, long heavily fringed perianth lobes, and anthers carried up on long filaments. Its relationships lie with central African species, e.g. T. katangense Robyns & Lawalrée and T. robynsii Lawalrée, both from Katanga (Shaba) Province of Dem. Rep. Congo.
    Distribution
    Malawi Zimbabwe ZAM N, ZIM E, MAL N, MAL C, MOZ MS Zambia Mozambique Also in Tanzania.
    Perianth
    Perianth pale greenish or creamy-yellow outside; tube 1.1–2 mm long, external glands conspicuous, ellipsoid; lobes 2–4.5 × 0.4–0.8 mm, oblong, ± obtuse, margins inflexed, densely fringed with long white hairs. Perianth pale greenish or creamy-yellow outside; tube 1.1–2 mm long, external glands conspicuous, ellipsoid; lobes 2–4.5 × 0.4–0.8 mm, oblong, ± obtuse, margins inflexed, densely fringed with long white hairs
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted on lower part of perianth lobes; filaments 1–2 mm long, conspicuous; anthers 0.6–0.8 mm long. Stamens inserted on lower part of perianth lobes; filaments 1–2 mm long, conspicuous; anthers 0.6–0.8 mm long
    Pistil
    Style 2.5–5.5 mm long; stigma nearly reaching top of perianth lobes.
    Fruits
    Fruit 3–3.5 × 3 mm, pallid, ribs and reticulations moderately raised. Fruit 3–3.5 × 3 mm, pallid, ribs and reticulations moderately raised.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Perennial herb; rootstock thickened at the crown, up 4 cm across, often 2–several-fid and with short rhizomes, covered with very many conspicuous vegetative buds 5–10 mm long bearing straw-coloured scarious scales 2–6 mm long; flowering stems elongating from the buds, numerous, erect, forming tufts, 10–30 cm tall, simple to sparingly branched, the branches virgate, sharply ascending, closely leafy, often nearly the whole stem floriferous; ribs strongly raised and terminating in midrib of leaves and bracts.
    Leaves
    Leaves at extreme base of stem reduced to scales, straw-coloured, lanceolate-subulate, ± 4–8x1–2 mm; developed leaves green or grey-green, sharply ascending, lower ones often incurved, linear-lanceolate to linear, 5–15x1–1.6 mm, acuminate, apiculate, margins cartilaginous, pale, sometimes minutely ciliolate near base, outer surface keeled by strongly raised midrib.
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary, sessile in the axil of each bract, (10–)20–70 in long crowded spikes often with a long leafy sterile tip; bracts leaf-like, ± 4.5–11x0.8–2.4 mm; bracteoles 2, similar to bracts but often smaller, particularly narrower.
    Perianth
    Perianth pale greenish or creamy yellow outside, white inside; tube 1–2 mm long, external glands conspicuous, ellipsoid; lobes oblong, 2–4.5 mm long, ± obtuse, margins inflexed, densely fringed with long white hairs.
    Stamens
    Stamens inserted on lower part of perianth lobes; filaments 1–2 mm long, conspicuous; anthers 0.6–0.8 mm long.
    Pistil
    Style 2.5–5.5 mm long; stigma nearly reaching top of perianth lobes.
    Fruits
    Fruit pallid, ovoid-globose or ellipsoid-globose, 3–3.5 mm long, 2.5–3 mm in diameter, ribs and reticulations moderately raised.
    Figures
    Fig. 1/6, 7 (page 4).
    Habitat
    Grassland, often in rocky places, coming up after fires; 1100–2400 m
    Distribution
    K2 K3 K4 K4/K6 T1 T2 T4 T7 T8 U1

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Thesium ussanguense Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Goetze [1261], Tanzania K000431466 Unknown type material

    First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 30: 305 (1901)

    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: 425 (1911). TAB. 46, fig. C.
    • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 30: 305 (1901).
    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
    • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 159 (1994).
    • Peter, Flora von Deutsch-Ostafrika: 142 (1932).
    • Baker & Hill in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 425 (1911).
    • Engl. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 30: 305 (1901).

    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