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This species is accepted, and its native range is Cameroon.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Mwachala, G., Cheek, M., Fischer, E., & Muasya, A. (2007). A New Species of Dracaena L. (Dracaenaceae-Ruscaceae) from Mt Kupe and the Bakossi Mts, Cameroon. Kew Bulletin, 62(4), 613-616. Retrieved from

Dracaena kupensis is only known from eight specimens at three localities: just above Nyasoso (all but two collections), Kupe village and Kodmin in the adjoining Bakossi Mts. Its area of occupancy is estimated as less than 500 km2. At its lower altitudinal range, its habitat is vulnerable to forest clearance for agricultural expansion. Accordingly, it is here assessed as EN B2a, b(iii) by the criteria of IUCN (2001), i.e. Endangered. Dracaena kupensis is one of 82 plant species that appear on present evidence to be restricted to Mt Kupe and the Bakossi Mts (Cheek et al. 2004), which itself has recently been declared to be one of the most diverse centres for vascular plants in tropical Africa (Cheek 2005).
Currently only known from the Kupe Mwanenguba area of South-West Province, Cameroon.
Forest undergrowth in both primary and secondary submontane forest, 800 - 1250 m.
Morphology General Habit
Monocaulous shrublet 30 - 60 cm tall from a sparsely branching, horizontal wiry-woody underground rootstock, glabrous
Morphology Leaves
Leaves pseudopetiolate, ascending weakly, distributed along the short stem, 3 - 7, alternating with the prophylls, forming a loose, litter-gathering rosette, blades elliptic to elliptic-oblong, 20 - 28 x 7.4 - 12 cm, apex acuminate, or acute, acumen if present 1 - 3 x 1 cm, base continuous with the pseudopetiole, midrib inconspicuous above, highly conspicuous and prominent on the lower surface, secondary nerves not conspicuous, not raised or sunken; pseudopetiole winged, 16- 21 cm long, midrib 1 - 2 mm wide, wings 1.5 - 6 mm wide, more or less of even width in each pseudopetiole, but dilating at the base to sheath the stem
Morphology Leaves Prophyll
Prophylls sheathing the stem, papery, foliose, scarious or green, oblong-elliptic, 1.5 - 5.5 cm long, 1 - 1.5 cm wide with a hyaline margin c. 2 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers not known
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx persistent, campanulate, 2 x 3.5 mm, apex 6-lobed, lobes truncate or acute, margins thickened
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicels grouped in fascicles, terete, 3 - 10 mm long, apex dilated, minutely lenticellate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits ripening glossy orange from green, fleshy when live, the pericarp 1 - 2 mm thick, indehiscent, 3-seeded, globose or obscurely beaked, to 1 cm in diameter, with a short stipe
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Infructescences
Infructescence, terminal, or sometimes arising directly from the stem on short leafless branches, racemose, erect; peduncle red or purple, terete, but grooved on drying, 6- 8 cm long, 0.15 cm diameter, 4 - 20-fruited, peduncle bracts 7 - 8, entirely sheathing the lower few cm of the peduncle, ovate-concave, 1 - 6 x 0.8 - 3 cm, apex triangular; bracts subtending the pedicels triangular, 2 mm long, apex long-acuminate, base c. 1 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds dull white, enveloped in a translucent membrane (seed coat?), hemispherical, 8 x 8 x 3 mm, ventral surface slightly concave, with a circular dark brown area, probably chalazal, c. 3 mm diameter, embedded in orange fruit flesh.
Morphology Stem
Aerial stem erect, very short, terete, 0 - 9 cm long, 0.4 cm diameter, enclosed by sheathing leaf bases and prophylls, the base of longer stems often naked, marked only by girdling white leaf scars
Dracaena kupensis fruits throughout the first part of the drier season, from October to February. Flowering probably occurs in August, at the height of the wet season: one collection with flower buds, the inflorescence still included in the leaf sheaths, was collected on 2 July (Etuge 2533). Several specimens have plugs of humus present in the tube formed by the sheathing leaf bases above the stem apex. This suggests litter gathering.
Cameroon, Nyasoso, Mann's (error for Max's) trail from Nyasoso up Mt Kupe, 22 Oct. 1995, Sidwell 346 (holotypus EA; isotypi K, YA n.v.) .

Native to:


Dracaena kupensis Mwachala, Cheek, Eb.Fisch. & Muasya appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Dec 1, 2008 Tekwe, C. [103], Cameroon K000540310
May 1, 2007 Satabie B. [1097], Cameroon K000025675
May 1, 2007 Sebsebe D. [4986], Cameroon K000027237
May 1, 2007 Etuge, M. [2533], Cameroon K000025674
May 1, 2007 Lane P. [286], Cameroon K000025677
May 1, 2007 Cheek, M. [7476], Cameroon K000025762
May 1, 2007 Sidwell K. [346], Cameroon K000025764 isotype
May 1, 2007 Lane P. [533], Cameroon K000025678
May 1, 2007 Sebsebe D. [5009], Cameroon K000025676

First published in Kew Bull. 62: 614 (2007)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Kew Bulletin

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