Maerua nervosa (Hochst.) Oliv.

First published in Fl. Trop. Afr. 1: 84 (1868)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is E. Zimbabwe to KwaZulu-Natal. It is a shrub and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.


IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

LC - least concern

Capparidaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:1. 1960

Morphology General Habit
Shrub or small tree up to 3 m. tall, quite glabrous except for the bracts and sepal margins; branchlets striate with some cuticular cells often golden and shining.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 3-foliolate; leaflets 2–5 x 1–3 cm., ovate-elliptic or obovate, apex rounded or emarginate, mucronulate, broadly cuneate at the base, both sides rather shining, nerves slightly raised below, veins laxly reticulate below; petiole up to 2.5 cm. long; petiolules up to 3 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of axillary, corymbose racemes, 4–6-flowered and collected towards the ends of the branches; peduncles c. 1.5 cm. long; pedicels c. 1 cm. long; bracts trifid, 1 mm. long, subulate, minutely papillate-pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Receptacle 5–6 mm. long, 2.5 mm. wide at the apex, cylindric, longitudinally c.12-ribbed, with 4 quadrate dentate lobes 1.5 mm. long at the mouth within.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals c. 1 x 0.4–0.5 cm., oblong-lanceolate to obovate-concave, apex rounded, apiculate, margin densely puberulous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals white, c. 5 x 3 mm., narrowly obovate to obovate, apex apiculate, base shortly clawed.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androgynophore
Androgynophore up to 9 mm. long, exserted from the mouth of the receptacle.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 10–20; filaments c. 2 cm. long; anthers 2 x 1.25 mm., oblong.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary on a gynophore up to 2.5 cm. long, oblong-ellipsoid; ovules c. 20 on 2 placentas; stigma sessile, capitate, narrower than the ovary.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit up to 3.3 x 2 cm., oblong-ellipsoid, rather shining, verrucose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 10–15, c. 6 mm. in diam., subglobose, verrucose.


  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

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  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.