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  1. Family: Sapotaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Donella Pierre ex Baill.
      1. Donella welwitschii (Engl.) Pierre ex Engl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tropical Africa to NW. Zambia.


    Sapotaceae, F. K. Kupicha. Flora Zambesiaca 7:1. 1983

    Evergreen climber up to 20 m. high with very slender trunk, or shrub 3–5 m. tall; twigs long, leafy, often only sparingly branched.
    Apical buds, young stems and petioles appressed brownish–pubescent; older branches glabrescent, with smooth brown bark.
    Leaves chartaceous; lamina 4–11 x 1·5–4·5 cm., oblong, oblong–obovate or oblong–elliptic, apex cuspidate–acuminate with narrowly oblong tip 5–7 mm. long, base rounded or acute; petiole 2–4 mm. long.
    Leaf lamina
    Lamina glabrous on both surfaces except for midrib of lower surface, this very prominent and sometimes brownish–pubescent.
    Leaf veins
    Lateral nerves numerous, closely spaced, parallel, joined into a continuous prominent marginal vein.
    Flowers white to greenish–yellow, in few– to many–flowered fascicles in leaf axils; pedicels 1–3 mm. long; buds c. 1 mm. long, globose.
    Calyx c. 1·5 mm. long, of 5 orbicular, cucullate, strongly imbricate sepals sparsely pilose on dorsal surface.
    Corolla c. 2 mm, long, urceolate, the tube ± equalling lobes, these elliptic, ciliate.
    Stamens inserted at base of corolla–tube; anthers c. 0·5 mm. long; filaments glabrous.
    Gynoecium c. 1 mm. long.
    Fruits up to 4·5 x 3 cm., ovoid, tapering at apex into a narrow beak, 3–seeded, 3–4–lobed (at least when dry), greenish.
    Seeds c. 1·7 cm. long, testa mottled yellowish–brown.

    Sapotaceae, H. Heine. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

    A climbing shrub
    Small greenish flowers in axillary clusters.



    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zaïre


    Other Data

    Donella welwitschii (Engl.) Pierre ex Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1995 Nemba, J. [520], Cameroon Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000027943
    Letouzey, R. [14068], Cameroon Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000027944
    Welwitsch [4830], Angola Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000430614
    Welwitsch [4831], Angola Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000430615
    Welwitsch [4832], Angola Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000430616
    Welwitsch [4833], Angola Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000430617
    Klaine, R.P. [528], Gabon Chrysophyllum welwitschii K000430620


    First published in Monogr. Afrik. Pflanzen-Fam. 8: 41 (1904)

    Not accepted by

    • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Pennington, D. (2001 publ. 2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Sapotaceae: 1-364. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Chrysophyllum welwitschii.]


    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Lisowski, S. (2009). Flore (Angiospermes) de la République de Guinée Scripta Botanica Belgica 41: 1-517.
    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.