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This species is accepted, and its native range is NE. & E. 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
Annual or perennial herb or woody herb, 0.6–1.5 m high, much branched, the whole plant aromatic; branches sometimes flushed reddish or purple, winged, densely to sparsely tomentellous to hispidulous and densely glandular, glabrescent on older parts, the wings very narrow to 5 mm wide and entire to denticulate.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, 1–8 cm long, 0.3–2.8 cm wide, base decurrent, margins dentate or denticulate with callose teeth, undulate, apex obtuse, acute or apiculate, hispidulous, tomentellous, puberulous or glabrescent on both surfaces and densely glandular.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Glomerules purple, pink or mauve, narrowly cylindrical to globose, 0.8–6.5 cm long, 0.4–0.7 cm in diameter; peduncle 0.5–5 cm long, winged or unwinged, hispidulous or tomentellous; glomerule bracts hidden by the capitula or sometimes the proximal ones visible at the base, lanceolate, 2–3 mm long, acute to apiculate, puberulous; receptacle linear; capitula sessile, with bracts 8–14, filiformto oblanceolate, 1.5–2.5 mm long, rounded to apiculate, scarious, puberulous and ciliate distally.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Florets:outer florets (7–)8–10, tube filiform or narrowly ovoid proximally, becoming corky proximally, 0.9–1.3 mm long, glabrous, minutely toothed at the apex, style 1.2–1.6 mm long, bifid; inner florets 1–3, tube widening, 1.2–1.5 mm long, glandular, corky, lobes 0.2–0.4 mm, puberulous and glandular, anthers 0.8–1.4 mm long, style white with a purple tip 1.5–3.1 mm long, papillose, entire or minutely bifid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes of outer florets cylindrical to ellipsoid, 0.4–0.6 mm long, glabrous or puberulous, of inner florets mostly < 0.3 mm long, glabrous and vestigial but occasionally ellipsoid and 0.5 mm long.
Fig. 79.

Native to:

Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Sphaeranthus ukambensis Vatke & O.Hoffm. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Hildebrandt, J.M. [2672], Kenya K000311645 Unknown type material

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 20: 228 (1894)

Accepted by

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


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 209, pl. 85 (1994).
  • Blundell, Wild Flow. E. Afr.: t. 776 (1987).
  • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 160 (1949).
  • Robyns in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1924: 194 (1924).
  • Ross-Craig in Hook., Ic. Pl. ser. 5, 6: 32, t. 3504b (1955).
  • Vatke & O. Hoffm. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 20: 228 (1894).
  • Wild in Kirkia 12: 102 (1980).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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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.