Combretum erythrophyllum (Burch.) Sond.

First published in Linnaea 23: 43 (1850)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is S. Tropical & S. Africa. It is a shrub or tree and grows primarily in the desert or dry shrubland biome.


IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

LC - least concern

Combretaceae, A. W. Exell. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

Morphology General Habit
Small to large spreading tree; young branchlets tomentose with rather persistent indumentum, pinkish after shedding the bark.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves subopposite or occasionally 3-verticillate; lamina sometimes pale-yellow when young, usually c. 5 x 2 cm., elliptic, rather inconspicuously lepidote on both surfaces otherwise nearly glabrous above except for variable hairiness on the midrib and nerves, tomentose to nearly glabrous beneath, apex usually acute and mucronate, base cuneate; lateral nerves 6–8(12) pairs; petiole 1–4 mm. long, tomentose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences usually of unbranched axillary spikes up to 2(3) cm. long, rarely forming short panicles by the suppression of leaves on short shoots; rhachis and peduncles usually tomentose more rarely glabrescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers cream or yellow, usually ± congested.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Lower receptacle 1·5–2·5 x 1 mm., usually tomentose rarely pubescent; upper receptacle 2–2·5 x 3 mm., broadly campanulate, pubescent to densely pubescent, with some scales visible when the indumentum is not too dense.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals c. 1 x 1·3–1·5 mm., debate to broadly debate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals c. 1·5 x 1 mm., obovate, narrowly obovate, spathulate or narrowly elliptic, sometimes emarginate, unguiculate, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamen-filaments 5 mm. long; anthers 1 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Disc
Disk 1·5 x l, cupuliform, glabrous, with a pilose margin free for c. 0·5 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit 1·3 x 1 cm., subcircular to broadly elliptic in outline, lepidote and pubescent, apical peg absent, wings c. 5 mm. wide, slightly decurrent at the base, stipe up to 7 mm. long.
Morphology General Scales
Scales as for the section, almost always some with at least 12 primary walls.
Figures by Engler and Diels (loc. cit.) show a markedly 2-seriate insertion of the stamens but in all the flowers I have dissected they appear to be very nearly 1-seriate and close to the margin of the disk. The petals are very variable in shape though fairly constant in the flowers of an individual. This kind of variation commonly occurs in species of Combretum and often appears to be without taxonomic significance though in some other cases the shape of the petal may be quite a useful character.


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  • IUCN Categories

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  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.