Gymnosporia obscura (A.Rich.) Loes.

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 17: 546 (1893)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Ethiopia to Burundi and N. Tanzania. It is a shrub or tree and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.

Descriptions

Celastraceae, N.K.B. Robson, N. Hallé, B. Mathew & R. Blakelock†. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1994

Morphology General Habit
Shrub or small tree, 2–10 m. high, sometimes sarmentose, with spines up to 6 cm. long, terminating short axillary shoots, without latex; branches ± flattened, ± angular, reddish purple and glabrous when young, becoming terete, striate, with numerous pale lenticels.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves not fasciculate, petiolate, glabrous; lamina mid-green, paler beneath, oblong to elliptic-oblong or ovate, 3.3–8.6 × 1.7–5(–8) cm., obtuse (or rarely shortly acuminate) to rounded at the apex, with margins ± shallowly crenulate-serrulate, attenuate to cuneate or rarely rounded at the base, coriaceous, with lateral nerves and densely reticulate venation equally prominent on both sides; petiole 2.3–10 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes 0.8–2.5 cm. long, ± slender, dichasial or ± monochasial, solitary, axillary, or 1–4 on short axillary shoots, or in axillary panicles, with peduncle 2–10 mm. long, glabrous; pedicels 2–5 mm. long, glabrous, articulated at the base or in the lower third; flowers 2–10 in each cyme, ± 3–6 mm. in diameter, polygamo-dioecious.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 5, equal, oblong-triangular to semicircular, 0.5–1.5 mm. long, rounded, glabrous, with margin subentire to ciliolate or irregular.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, white to cream or greenish-tinged, oblong to elliptic, 1.5–2.5 mm. long, with margin ciliolate to entire.
sex Male
Male flowers:stamens 5, ± 3/4–7/8 as long as the petals, with filaments ± 1.5–2 mm. long, slender, arising below the disc; disc rather narrow, ± flat, 5-lobed; pistillode small, subglobose, with style unbranched, ± half-immersed in the disc.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female (and ? hermaphrodite) flowers:staminodes (or ? stamens) 5, ± half as long as the petals, with filaments ± 1 mm. long; disc as in ♂; ovary 3-locular, globose, ± a quarter immersed in the disc; style shorter than the ovary, 3-branched, each branch 2-fid, with small stigmas. Male flowers:stamens 5, ± 3/4–7/8 as long as the petals, with filaments ± 1.5–2 mm. long, slender, arising below the disc; disc rather narrow, ± flat, 5-lobed; pistillode small, subglobose, with style unbranched, ± half-immersed in the disc.
sex Female
Female (and ? hermaphrodite) flowers:staminodes (or ? stamens) 5, ± half as long as the petals, with filaments ± 1 mm. long; disc as in ♂; ovary 3-locular, globose, ± a quarter immersed in the disc; style shorter than the ovary, 3-branched, each branch 2-fid, with small stigmas.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule green turning red to red-brown, obconic–3-gonous, 5–6 mm. long, truncate, coriaceous, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds (2–)3, reddish brown, glossy, with a fleshy smooth pale yellow aril at the base.
Habitat
Ravine forest, forest margins, scrub and grassland; 2100–2550 m. (1000–2700 m. in Ethiopia)
Distribution
K3 K4 K5 T2 U1
[FTEA]

Sources

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • 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 Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0