1. Family: Malvaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Sterculia L.
      1. Sterculia africana (Lour.) Fiori

        This species is accepted, and its native range is NE. Tropical Africa, Tanzania to Namibia, S. Arabian Peninsula.

    [FTEA]

    Sterculiaceae, Martin Cheek & Laurence Dorr; Nesogordonia, Laurence Dorr, Lisa Barnett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2007

    Type
    Type: Mozambique, Mossuril, Loureiro s.n. (P!, holo.)
    Habit
    Tree 4–10(–18) m tall.
    Bole
    Bole often thick and squat, bark whitish grey or liver-colored; slash unknown; young extension shoots pale brown, shortly tomentellous
    Leaves
    Leaf-blade orbicular to ovate in outline, shallowly 3-lobed or entire, 3.5–10(–12.5) cm long, (3–)5–8(–11) cm wide, lateral lobes 0.5(–2) cm deep, always more shallow than the apical lobe, apex rounded to acuminate, base cordate, sinus 0.5–1.5 cm deep, edges usually not quite meeting, shortly and thinly tomentose to glabrescent above and beneath, hairs stellate, greyish with 5–7 ± horizontal arms; petiole 2.3–7.5(–12.5) cm long, 0.5 mm thick, tomentellous with greyish stellate hairs; stipules not long persistent
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences borne on ± leafless stem apices, 2–6(–20) per shoot, 1.5–3 cm long, 1–2 cm wide, indumentum as the leaf, spike-like or branches 2–5; pedicels 3–8 mm long
    Flowers
    Flowers greenish or yellowish with pink or red markings, widely campanulate, 7–8 mm long, (5.5–)8–20 mm wide, divided into 5 rounded-triangular, patent or reflexed lobes 7–9 mm long, 4–4.5 mm wide, outside with small stellate hairs, as the leaf, inside glabrous apart from the lobes which densely covered in longer, white silky simple to 3–4-armed stellate hairs
    Fruits
    Fruits with follicles ± ellipsoid in lateral view, 6–11 cm long, widest at the equator in end view, 5–7 cm wide, dehiscing by 90–180°, then shorter and 8–9 cm wide, rostrum, if present, stout, slightly curved, 0–2 cm long, stipe stout and short if present, 0–0.5(–0.8) cm long, pericarp woody, 1.5–2(–4) mm thick, outer surface yellowish brown, tomentose to subscabrid, without sculpturing, inner surface yellowish white, softly and thinly tomentose, characteristically lined, placenta covered densely in yellow-brown urticating hairs 2–3 mm long.
    Seeds
    Seeds with peg-like stalks (2–)3–3.5 mm long, (0.5–)1–1.5 mm wide, covered with urticating hairs, persistently attached to the placenta. Seeds ellipsoid–oblong, grey-black, 12–15 mm long, 7–8 mm wide, the aril apical, 2–3 mm long, 3–5 mm wide, drying white; hilum at aril margin, round, 1–1.5 mm wide
    Figures
    Fig 1/1, 7, p 6
    Ecology
    Dry bushland or grassland with Combretum or Acacia, at the sea-shore in bushland with Sideroxylon and Xylocarpus, often on coral rock; 0–600 m
    Conservation
    This species is here assessed as “Least Concern” in view of its large geographic range and because of its wide habitat range.
    Note
    It is remarkable that though Sterculia africana is the only member of that genus illustrated in ‘Kenya Trees and Shrubs’, this species is not known from that country, though it is recorded to the North, from Ethiopia and Somalia, and to the South from Tanzania to South Africa and Botswana. Many specimens from Kenya which have initially borne the name Sterculia africana have subsequently proven to be the closely related S. rhynchocarpa (for diagnostic characteristics, see there). Both Greenway 5110 & 5289, figured in the K.T.S. plate, are from Mafia Island, Tanzania.   Sterculia triphaca var. rivaei was very probably based on specimens attributable to both Sterculia africana and to S. rhynchocarpa. This is because two of the six syntypes of var. rivaei (both believed destroyed) were from Kenya, whence specimens of S. africana are unknown, although S. rhynchocarpa is common. Sterculia arabica (R.Br.) T.Anders of Yemen and Oman is very closely related to Sterculia africana. Specimens of the former can usually be differentiated by the smaller, uniformly rounded leaves and smaller fruits, about half the size of the latter. However, qualitative differential characters seem scarce and monographic research might relegate these two taxa to subspecific rank. Sterculia arabica has nomenclatural priority. Specimens collected from coastal districts at sea-level, including all those from Mafia and Zanzibar, have very much larger and more sparsely hairy leaves than those from Acacia bushland, but this phenomenon may be environmentally engendered. Although several varieties have been recognized throughout the coastal range of Sterculia africana, examination of the available material from E Africa suggests that these are unwarranted. Although the species does seem rather variable in leaf-shape and indumentum, intermediates can be demonstrated. The record from T 8 is derived from a sight record at Ngarama North Forest Reserve by Luke (pers. comm.).
    Distribution
    Flora districts: T3 T5 T6 T7 T8; Z Range: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
    [FZ]

    Sterculiaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:2. 1961

    Habit
    Tree 10–25 m. tall, with a stout trunk up to 1 m. in diam. somewhat resembling that of the Baobab; bark peeling in papery flakes, brownish, yellowish, whitish or liver-coloured, inner layers green and with the sapwood pink; primary branches stiff and very stout.
    Leaves
    Leaf-lamina 5–15 × 4–13 cm., very broadly ovate-cordate, apex acuminate, almost entire or 3–5-lobed with somewhat acuminate lobes, c. 7 nerved at the base, from thinly to densely and harshly pubescent or tomentose, sometimes glabrescent; petiole up to 10 cm. long, coarsely pubescent. Leaves collected at the ends of the branches.
    Flowers
    Flowers in clustered, usually terminal panicles appearing before the leaves and up to 9 cm. long; branches of inflorescence densely pubescent; bracteoles c. 1·5 mm. long, linear-oblong, acute, pubescent; pedicels up to 1 cm. long, articulated near the middle, pubescent. Female flower: ovary ovoid, tomentose, with a few vestigial stamens at its base, on a puberulous gynophore c. 4 mm. long; style c. 3 mm. long, pubescent, often reflexed. Male flower: stamens c. 10, in a capitate discoid cluster; androphore 5–6 mm. long, slender, glabrous.
    Calyx
    Calyx up to 1·2 cm. long, yellowish with reddish guide-lines within, campanulate, divided rather more than half way into 5–6 acute lobes, tomentellous outside, glabrous within except near the apex.
    Male
    Male flower: stamens c. 10, in a capitate discoid cluster; androphore 5–6 mm. long, slender, glabrous.
    Female
    Female flower: ovary ovoid, tomentose, with a few vestigial stamens at its base, on a puberulous gynophore c. 4 mm. long; style c. 3 mm. long, pubescent, often reflexed.
    Fruits
    Follicles 3–5, c. 10 cm. long, spreading, subsessile, oblong-ovoid, with a horn-like often curled apiculus at the apex, golden-tomentellous and finely longitudinally ridged outside, opening widely after dehiscence; placentas with very dense acicular hairs.
    Seeds
    Seeds numerous, c. 2 × 1 cm., oblong-ellipsoid, with a whitish aril at one end; testa smooth, dull-blackish.
    [FTEA]
    Use
    Bark used for rope, Greenway 5110.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Caprivi Strip, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Socotra, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Sterculia africana (Lour.) Fiori appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 16, 2008 Crawford, F. [38], Namibia K000450791
    Sep 16, 2008 Crawford, F. [38], Namibia K000450331
    Jan 1, 1987 Buchanan, C. M. G. [1025] K000240944
    Sep 14, 1983 Steuda [1154] K000240955
    Jan 1, 1957 Miller, O.B. [826], Botswana K000489300
    Jan 1, 1957 Pole-Evans, I.B. [2607], Botswana K000489299
    Mozambique 29036.000
    Drummond, R.B. [4054], Kenya 15391.000
    Story, R. [4815], Botswana K000489302
    Box, P.N. [TNP/E/37], Kenya 28449.000
    Schweinfurth, G. [758] K000240954
    Holst, C. [2313] K000240946
    Ngoni, J.F. [351], Botswana K000489303

    First published in Agric. Colon. 5(Suppl.): 37 (1911 publ. 1912)

    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.
    • Mosti, S., Raffaelli, M. & Tardelli, M. (2012). Contributions to the flora of central-southern Dhofar (Sultanate of Oman) Webbia; Raccolta de Scritti Botanici 67: 65-91.
    • Shamso, E. & Hamdy, R. (2010). Melhania steudneri (Sterculiaceae) new record for Egypt, and a synopsis of the Sterculiaceae in Egypt Nordic Journal of Botany 28: 174-181.
    • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
    • Cheek, M. & Dorr, L. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Sterculiaceae: 1-134.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Boulos, L. (2000). Flora of Egypt 2: 1-352. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) in Thulin, M. (ed.) (1999). Flora of Somalia 2: 1-303. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(2): 1-456. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Audru, J., Cesar, J. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1994). Les Plantes Vasculaires de la République de Djibouti. Flore Illustrée 1: 1-336. CIRAD, Départerment d'Elevage et de Médecine vétérinaire, Djibouti.
    • Exell, A.W. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1961). Flora Zambesiaca 1(2): 337-581. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    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.
    • Mosti, S., Raffaelli, M. & Tardelli, M. (2012). Contributions to the flora of central-southern Dhofar (Sultanate of Oman) Webbia; Raccolta de Scritti Botanici 67: 65-91.
    • Shamso, E. & Hamdy, R. (2010). Melhania steudneri (Sterculiaceae) new record for Egypt, and a synopsis of the Sterculiaceae in Egypt Nordic Journal of Botany 28: 174-181.
    • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
    • Cheek, M. & Dorr, L. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Sterculiaceae: 1-134.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Boulos, L. (2000). Flora of Egypt 2: 1-352. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) in Thulin, M. (ed.) (1999). Flora of Somalia 2: 1-303. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Audru, J., Cesar, J. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1994). Les Plantes Vasculaires de la République de Djibouti. Flore Illustrée 1: 1-336. CIRAD, Départerment d'Elevage et de Médecine vétérinaire, Djibouti.
    • Exell, A.W. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1961). Flora Zambesiaca 1(2): 337-581. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Thulin, Fl. Somal. 2: 35 (1999).
    • Fl. Eth. 2, 2: 184, fig. 80.8: 1–7 (1995)
    • K.T.S.L.: 167, fig., map (1994)
    • F.Z. 1: 553 (1961)
    • K.T.S.: 551, t. 101 (1961)
    • E.P.A. 1: 584 (1958)
    • T.T.C.L.: 602 (1949)
    • Agric. Colon. Ital. 5, suppl.: 37 (1912)

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    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