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This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to Eritrea and S. Tropical Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

Morphology General Habit
Erect or procumbent annual to perennial herb 0.2–1.2 m high, much branched from the base, stems often reddish or purple; branches winged, the wings to 4 mm wide and entire to denticulate and glandular, puberulous or scabridulous but glabrescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves aromatic, narrowly (ob-)lanceolate, 1–8.5 cm long, 0.2–2 cm wide, base attenuate and decurrent, margins entire to dentate, apex acute or obtuse and mucronate to almost spinulose, sparsely puberulous, glabrescent, glandular-punctate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Glomerules purple or mauve, subglobose to ovoid-conical, 5–10 mm long, 7–12 mm in diameter; peduncle 0.3–4.5 cm long, winged or unwinged, indument as stems; receptacle suborbicular or ovoid; glomerule bracts distally mauve, mostly visible, the proximal 2–3 series forming a shallow cup or covering the base of the glomerule, ovate to oblong, 2–6 mm long, 1.5–1.8 mm wide, margins ciliate, acuminate and often spinulose in the proximal ones, puberulous to almost glabrous and glandular; capitula sessile, with 3(–4) bracts, the laterals folded, narrowly elliptic, 2.5–4 mm long, scarious and ciliate, truncate to acute, puberulous distally.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Florets:outer florets 2–6, stalked for up to 0.2 mm, tube filiform to becoming corky and narrowing from a rather wide base, 1.3–2.5 mm long, glandular, minutely toothed, style 1.7–2.5 mm long; inner florets 1–2, tube cylindrical, (slightly) constricted near the base, becoming corky, constricted below the lobes, 1–2 mm long, glandular, lobes 0.3–0.7 mm long, anthers 1.3–1.6 mm long, style 1.9–4 mm long, minutely bifid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes of outer florets cylindrical, 0.6–1.4 mm long, puberulous and glandular, of inner florets slightly obovoid, (0.6–)0.9–1.8 mm long, fertile or sterile, puberulous and glandular.
River banks, dried-out river-beds, (seasonally) wet sites in grassland or Acacia bushland; may be locally common, occasionally said to be an indicator of overgrazing; (30–)700–2000 m
K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T4 T5 T7 U1 U3

Native to:

Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Sphaeranthus steetzii Oliv. & Hiern appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2011 Bally [B1096], Kenya K000787962
Jan 1, 1995 Fischer [335], Tanzania K000274177 Unknown type material
Jan 1, 1995 Powell, E. [18], Kenya K000311765 Unknown type material
Schimper [525], Ethiopia K000274155
Kotschy [224], Ethiopia K000274156
Schimper [525], Ethiopia K000274157 Unknown type material
Kotschy [224], Ethiopia K000274158
Johnson, W.P. [s.n.], Tanzania K000274176
Bidgood, S. [6392], Tanzania K000468033
Bidgood, S. [6164], Tanzania K000468261
Bidgood, S. [6134], Tanzania K000468291
Bidgood, S. [6294], Tanzania K000468131

First published in Fl. Trop. Afr. 3: 334 (1877)

Accepted by

  • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Sudan 3: 53 (1956).
  • Oliv. & Hiern in Flora of Tropical Africa 3: 334 (1877).
  • Robyns in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1924: 190 (1924).
  • Ross-Craig in Hook., Ic. Pl. ser. 5, 6: 64, t. 3516a (1955).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

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

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.