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  1. Family: Burseraceae Kunth
    1. Genus: Commiphora Jacq.
      1. Commiphora kua (R.Br. ex Royle) Vollesen

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to Zambia, S. Arabian Peninsula.

    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Spiny shrub or small tree up to 3 m. tall; outer bark peeling off in broad dull yellow or grey transverse strips; exudate creamy, hardly scented, forming a hard yellowish gum-resin; long-shoots spine-tipped, straight, tapering, rather stout (± 2 mm. across 4 cm. below the tip); short spines, sometimes only 10 mm. long, also present.
    Leaves
    Leaves simple on short-shoots, often hetero–3-foliolate on long-shoots, subsessile, 10–35 mm. long, 5–25 mm. wide, usually cuneate-obovate, less often elliptic-oblong, with 5–9 rather sharp teeth on each side, apex truncate, rounded or acute.
    Flowers
    Flowers precocious or appearing with the leaves, sessile or nearly so, ♂ in clusters of 4–6, ♀ single or 2 together, yellowish green or pale red; calyx ± 2 mm. long, including 0.5 mm. triangular lobes; ♂ petals linear, widened towards the tip and not reflexed, ± 4 mm. long; filaments ± 3 mm. and ± 1.5 mm., anthers ± 0.7 mm. long; ♀ petals ± 3 mm.; style ± 1 mm. long; stigma subcapitate.
    Fruits
    Fruit sometimes with 2 fertile locules and then measuring 6 × 4.5 × (2.7 + 2.7) mm., when one locule only is fertile 7–8 (including a 0.5 mm. beak) × 5 × (2 + 3.5) mm., pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril with 4 narrowly triangular rather irregular lobes, the sutural rather broader than the facial; fertile locule of stone with a well-marked carunculate shield of dehiscence; stone when 2 locules are fertile 5 × 4 × (2.5 + 2.5) mm; when one locule only is fertile 5 × 4 × (1.7 + 3.2) mm.
    Figures
    Fig. 4/7–9, p.16.
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Spiny glabrous shrub or small tree, sometimes subscandent, up to 3(–5) m. tall; trunk grey, the outer bark peeling in horizontal papery strips exposing the green under-bark, exudate sticky, not, or hardly, scented.
    Leaves
    Leaves often rather leathery and subpersistent, those on short-shoots sometimes 1-foliolate but usually some having tiny (under 3 mm. long) rather caducous narrowly lanceolate entire lateral leaflets, those on long-shoots often with larger lateral leaflets; petiole on short-shoots 0.5–3 mm. long or up to 9 mm. on luxuriant long-shoots; lamina elliptic-lanceolate, rounded or acute at the apex, cuneate or attenuate basally, with 9–12 small teeth on each side, up to 40(–50) × 18(–27) mm.
    Flowers
    Flowers greenish yellow, sessile or almost so in precocious clusters at the ends of short-shoots or among the leaves. Females 1–3 together, with petals ± 3 mm. long. Males in clusters of 4–6; calyx ± 1.4 mm. including triangular teeth 0.5 mm. long; petals 5 mm.; filaments 4 and 2.2 mm., anthers 0.6 and 0.4 mm. long.
    Male
    Males in clusters of 4–6; calyx ± 1.4 mm. including triangular teeth 0.5 mm. long; petals 5 mm.; filaments 4 and 2.2 mm., anthers 0.6 and 0.4 mm. long.
    Female
    Females 1–3 together, with petals ± 3 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit subglobose, slighdy pointed, 6–8 × 5 × (2 + 4–5) mm.; pericarp 2-valved, ± 0.5 mm. thick; pseudaril with 4 arms, that on the sterile locule are narrower than the other 3 which are rather broad; stone smooth or obscurely carunculate, 4–5.5 × 4–4.2 × (1.3–1.8 + 2.8–3) mm., the apical pits well developed, the shield of dehiscence very obscure.
    Figures
    Fig. 5/10–13.
    Habitat
    Semi-evergreen thickets in the coastal belt; 2–960 m.; rainfall 600–950 mm.
    Distribution
    K4 K7 T3 T6 T8 Z
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    A very spiny shrub up to 4 m. tall, glabrous except for a tuft of yellowish hairs sometimes present at the leaf-base; stems cylindrical, bark yellowish or greyish brown, peeling in small transverse strips which curl into scrolls; twigs stiff, straight, tapering, ± 2.5 mm. in diameter 4 cm. from the tip; slash reddish with a milky exudate which is almost odourless and hardens to a yellowish red rather rubbery resin.
    Leaves
    Leaves mostly simple, on long-shoots sometimes 3-foliolate but as they are subsessile they seem to be tufts of 3 leaves; petiole, if present, under 1 mm. long; lamina cuneate-obovate with 1–2(–3) large broad rather symmetrical teeth close to the apex on each side, 10–18 × 8–12 mm.
    Flowers
    Flowers appearing with the leaves; ♂ on pedicels up to 1.6 mm.; calyx 2.2 mm. including triangular lobes 0.6 mm. long; petals linear, 5 mm. long; filaments 3 and 2 mm., anthers 0.7 and 0.5 mm. long; ♀ on pedicels up to 1.2 mm. long; calyx 1.6 mm. including triangular lobes 0.5 mm. long; petals greenish yellow, spreading at the tip, 3.3 mm. long; style ± 1.5 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit obovoid, ± 7 × 5.5 × (2 + 3) mm.; pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril with 4 arms separated by narrow gaps, the arms over the sutures and fertile locule broad with wavy edges, those over the sterile locule narrow and linear; stone 5 × 5 × (1.5 + 2.2) mm., carunculate with well-marked ridges on the sutures and sterile locule and large apical pits; sterile locule humped distally; fertile locule with a distinct shield of dehiscence (fruits with 2 fertile locules have been seen in Ethiopia but not yet in Kenya).
    Figures
    Fig. 4/10, 11, p. 16.
    Habitat
    Open Acacia, Commiphora bushland; 60–1300 m.; rainfall 230–260 mm.
    Distribution
    K1 K7
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Spiny glabrous (except for base of leaf lamina) shrub or small tree up to 4(–6) m. tall; outer bark yellowish grey, peeling from the pale green under-bark in papery scrolls or less often in massive white strips; exudate faintly scented forming a gum-resin; twigs grey.
    Leaves
    Leaves glabrous except for a few long flexuous yellowish hairs usually present at the base of the lamina, usually 1-foliolate on the short-shoots, often hetero-3-foliolate or, less often, subequally 3-foliolate on the long-shoots; petiole 0–2(–33) mm. long; lamina elliptic or narrowly obovate, elliptic-cuneate at the base, rounded or acute at the apex, crenate-serrate with 6–16 teeth on each side or, rarely, subentire, 15–45(–60) mm. long, 7–25(–30) mm. wide.
    Flowers
    Male flowers usually,precocious, 3–8 together in greatly condensed cymes, the pedicels 0–1.5 mm. long; calyx tubular, 2.2–2.5 mm., including triangular lobes ± 6 mm. long; petals linear, spreading and reflexed at the tip, 5–6 mm. long; filaments 3.5–4 and 2.5–3 mm., anthers 0.7 and 0.5 mm. long. Female flowers 2–3 together; pedicel under 0.5 mm.; calyx ± 2 mm.; petals ± 5 mm.; stamens vestigial; ovary ± 1.5 mm., style ± 1.5 mm., stigma capitate, lobed.
    Male
    Male flowers usually,precocious, 3–8 together in greatly condensed cymes, the pedicels 0–1.5 mm. long; calyx tubular, 2.2–2.5 mm., including triangular lobes ± 6 mm. long; petals linear, spreading and reflexed at the tip, 5–6 mm. long; filaments 3.5–4 and 2.5–3 mm., anthers 0.7 and 0.5 mm. long.
    Female
    Female flowers 2–3 together; pedicel under 0.5 mm.; calyx ± 2 mm.; petals ± 5 mm.; stamens vestigial; ovary ± 1.5 mm., style ± 1.5 mm., stigma capitate, lobed.
    Fruits
    Fruit subsessile or on stalks up to 4 mm. long; asymmetrically obovoid, somewhat beaked, varying greatly in size, on average ± 10 mm. long (including the beak) × 7.5 × (2+ 4) mm.; pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril 4-armed, the arm on the sterile face shorter than the other 3; stone slightly rugose measuring ± 7.5 × 5.5 × (1.5 + 2.5) mm.; apical pits small, germination shield obscure; sterile locule slightly convex, not humped, apical view of fruit thus asymmetrically elliptic.
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Shrub or small tree up to 3 (–5) m. tall, glabrous throughout; trunk cylindrical, outer bark peeling in tough yellowish horizontal strips with large horizontally elongated lenticels; exudate milky, at first almost without scent but later developing a foul fishy odour, hardening to a white gum; twigs straight, pale when young, grey-black later.
    Leaves
    Leaves 1-foliolate, occasionally 3-foliolate on long-shoots; petiole 1–5(–17) mm. long; lamina narrowly elliptic-lanceolate or oblanceolate, tapering at the base, acute or rounded apically, the margin usually almost entire but sometimes dentate in unusually large leaves on vigorous long-shoots on saplings, 20–60(–80) mm. long and 5–15(–20) mm. wide normally, but up to 100 × 55 mm. exceptionally.
    Flowers
    Flowers appearing with the leaves, sessile or on pedicels under 1 mm. long.
    Calyx
    Calyx green, angled, ± 2 mm. long including triangular lobes ± 0.4 mm. long.
    Corolla
    Petals dull yellow, linear-spathulate, 4.5–5 mm. long.
    Filaments
    Filaments 4 and 2 mm., anthers 0.8–1 and 0.7 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit 8 mm. long, including a broad 1.5 mm. long beak, 5.5 mm. wide, 1.5 + 3 mm. thick; pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril 4-armed; stone smooth or somewhat rugose, 5.4 × 5 × (1 + 2.5) mm., the sterile locule not humped, almost flat, much shorter than the fertile one (occasionally in Ethiopia and N. Somalia both locules maybe fertile, the dimensions of the stone then being 5 × 3.5 × (2.5 + 2.5) but this has not yet been seen in Kenya).
    Figures
    Fig. 4/12–15.
    Habitat
    Acacia, Commiphora open bushland, usually on alluvium; 60–1075 m.; rainfall 220–270 mm.
    Distribution
    K1 K2 K7 T3
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    A spiny almost entirely glabrous shrub 0.5–2 m. tall; stems dark brownish black, the outer bark peeling transversely; twigs slender, ± 1.5 mm. across 4 cm. below the tip; exudate faintly scented, hardening to form small pale to dark yellow beads.
    Leaves
    Leaves always 1-foliolate on short-shoots, perhaps sometimes 3-foliolate on long-shoots; petiole 0–0.5 mm. long; lamina elliptic, cuneate-obovate or almost orbicular, with 2 or 3 broad obtuse lobes on each side, up to 11 × 9 mm.
    Flowers
    Flowers subsessile, usually precocious, dark red, slender.
    Calyx
    Calyx sometimes puberulous, 1.5 mm. long including acute ovate 0.7 mm. long lobes.
    Corolla
    Petals linear, 3.7–4.5 mm. long.
    Filaments
    Filaments 2.5 and 1.5 mm.; anthers 0.6 and 0.3 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit subsessile, ± 7 × 2.5 × (1.5 + 2.5) mm. (and thus thicker than wide); pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril with 4 narrow linear arms, the facial arms often interrupted at the base; stone ± 5 × 2 × (1 + 2) mm., the sterile locule humped distally, the fertile locule thickest near its base (occasionally fruits with 2 equal locules occur); normal fruits with only one fertile locule are often bent over on the sterile side so that there is an angle of up to 60° between the axis of the pedicel and that of the fruit).
    Figures
    Fig. 3/4–9, p.10.
    Habitat
    Open Acacia, Commiphora bushland on red sandy loam; 360–390 m.; rainfall 230 mm.
    Distribution
    K1
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Spiny glabrous shrub or small tree 1–3 m. tall; stems grey, outer bark peeling in strong horizontal strips; exudate milky, not or hardly scented.
    Leaves
    Leaves bright green, mostly simple, often hetero-3-foliolate on long-shoots, usually with a distinct petiole 0.5–1 mm. long; lamina narrowly oblong-obovate or obovate, cuneate below but truncate at the extreme base, rounded apically, with 1–4 crenations on each side which may be well marked though rounded and never sharp or so broad as to be almost obsolete, 7–20 mm. long, 4–12 mm. wide.
    Male
    Male flowers (often galled and then persistent) in 1–3-flowered inflorescences, with 0.3–0.6 mm. bracteoles, the combined peduncle and pedicel from as little as 1.5 to as much as 11 mm. long; calyx 1.8 mm. including 0.7 mm. lobes; petals pale reddish, narrow linear, widened near the tip, 4.6 mm. long; filaments 3.4 and 1.8 mm., anthers 0.8 and 0.6 mm. long.
    Flowers
    Female flowers solitary, subsessile or on pedicels up to 2 mm. long; style 1–2 mm. long. Male flowers (often galled and then persistent) in 1–3-flowered inflorescences, with 0.3–0.6 mm. bracteoles, the combined peduncle and pedicel from as little as 1.5 to as much as 11 mm. long; calyx 1.8 mm. including 0.7 mm. lobes; petals pale reddish, narrow linear, widened near the tip, 4.6 mm. long; filaments 3.4 and 1.8 mm., anthers 0.8 and 0.6 mm. long.
    Female
    Female flowers solitary, subsessile or on pedicels up to 2 mm. long; style 1–2 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit almost always with one fertile locule, bent over towards the sterile locule so that the axis of the usually subpersistent style forms an angle of 40–60° with that of the pedicel, ± 5.3 mm. long (including a short beak) × 4 × (1 + 2.5) mm.; pericarp 2-valved; pseudaril with 4 narrow arms; stone smooth, 4 × 3 × (0.5 + 2.5) mm.; germination shield well marked; sterile locule slighdy humped distally.
    Habitat
    Acacia, Commiphora open bushland on red sandy soil; 780–850 m.; rainfall 230–250 mm.
    Distribution
    K1

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Socotra, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Commiphora kua (R.Br. ex Royle) Vollesen appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Ellenbeck [2031], Somalia K000199657
    Kenya Commiphora lindensis 25920.000
    Drummond, R.B. [3265], Tanzania Commiphora lindensis 21891.000
    Faulkner, H. [1918], Tanzania Commiphora lindensis 16514.000
    Polhill, R. [495], Kenya Commiphora lindensis 24918.000
    Faulkner, H. [3214], Tanzania Commiphora lindensis 22756.000
    Faulkner, H [2417], Tanzania Commiphora lindensis 23395.000
    Jul 30, 1982 Drake-Brockman, R.E. [799], Somalia Commiphora incisa K000199658 Unknown type material
    Greenway, P.J. [12658], Kenya Commiphora habessinica 30157.000
    Drummond, R.B. [2363], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica 21889.000
    Stolz, A. [1683], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica K000425365 isosyntype
    Stolz, A. [1683], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica K000425366 isosyntype
    Stolz, A. [1683], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica K000425370 isosyntype
    Stolz, A. [1769], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica K000425367 isosyntype
    Stolz, A. [1769], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica K000425368 isosyntype
    Stolz, A. [1769], Tanzania Commiphora habessinica K000425369 isosyntype
    Schimper [1359], Ethiopia Commiphora habessinica K000199660
    Schimper [1359], Ethiopia Commiphora habessinica K000199661
    Gillett, J.B. [4102], Somalia Commiphora bruceae K000199618 Unknown type material
    Apr 4, 1986 Gillett, J.B. [4311], Somalia Commiphora gracilispina K000199616 Unknown type material
    Engler [1910], Kenya Commiphora subsessilifolia K000425371
    Bullock, A.A. [1239], Zambia Commiphora salubris 16038.000
    Drake-Brockman, R.E. [800], Somalia Commiphora kua var. gowlello K000199656 Unknown type material
    Aug 25, 1982 Burtt, B.D. [6017] Commiphora habessinica subsp. tanganyikensis K000425363 holotype
    Aug 25, 1982 Burtt, B.D. [6017] Commiphora habessinica subsp. tanganyikensis K000425364 holotype

    Bibliography

    First published in Nordic J. Bot. 4: 37 (1984)

    Accepted by

    • 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.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) in Thulin, M. (ed.) (1999). Flora of Somalia 2: 1-303. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Gillett, J.B. (1991). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Burseraceae: 1-94.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • 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.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Collenette, S. (1999). Wildflowers of Saudi Arabia: 1-799. National commission for wildlife conservation and development (NCWCD), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    • 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., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1963). Flora Zambesiaca 2(1): 1-351. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Vollesen in Fl. Eth. 3: 473 (1988).
    • Vollesen in Nordic Journ. Bot. 4: 37 (1984)

    Sources

    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 2020. 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 2020. 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