Gomphocarpus R.Br.

First published in Asclepiadeae: 26 (1810)
This genus is accepted
The native range of this genus is Tropical & S. Africa to Arabian Peninsula.

Descriptions

Apocynaceae (part 2), David Goyder, Timothy Harris, Siro Masinde, Ulrich Meve, Johan Venter. Flora of Tropical East Africa, 2012

Morphology General Habit
Shrubby or pyrophytic perennial herbs.
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, branched or not, frequently woody below.
Morphology Roots
Root system mostly a fibrous tap root, sometimes somewhat thickened and woody, but never tuberous.
Morphology General Exudate
Latex white, copious
Morphology Leaves
Leaves generally in opposite pairs, occasionally subopposite or in whorls of 3 or 4
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences extra-axillary with flowers in a nodding umbel
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals free
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla lobes united only at the base, spreading or reflexed, abaxial face glabrous or pubescent, occasionally tomentose, adaxial face glabrous or minutely papillose, occasionally pubescent, commonly with a line of long white hairs along the right margin
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corona
Gynostegial corona of 5 minute interstaminal lobules near the base of the anther wings and 5 well-developed cucullate staminal lobes attached above the base of the staminal column, with or without teeth or processes on the upper margins and mostly lacking a tooth in the cavity Corolline corona absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Margins of anther wings straight, slightly convex or slightly sinuous; corpusculum ovoid to subcylindrical, brown or black, with or without translucent flanges up the sides; translator arms flattened and geniculate or differentially thickened.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pollinia
Pollinia flattened, oblong or oblanceolate to obovate, occasionally subtriangular, pendant in the anther cells
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Stylar head flat
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Fruiting pedicel mostly contorted to hold follicle erect, occasionally straight or weakly sinuous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Follicles generally single by abortion, variable in shape from subcylindrical to ovoid or globose, strongly inflated in some taxa, weakly or not at all in others, surface frequently ornamented with pubescent filiform processes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds generally ovate, with one convex and one concave face, verrucose, without a marginal rim, or in the G glaucophyllus group with a convoluted margin, or rarely ( G rivularis) smooth, and with an inflated rim, with a coma of silky hairs.
[FTEA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Short-lived shrubby perennial herbs from non-tuberous tap roots; latex white
Morphology Leaves
Leaves paired or in whorls of 4, sessile or shortly petiolate, linear to linear-lanceolate with revolute margins
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences extra-­axillary, forming pedunculate nodding umbels
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla rotate or reflexed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corona
Gynostegial corona of 5 staminal lobes attached c. 1 mm above base of staminal column, laterally compressed, complicate, quadrate, the upper margins variously toothed, cavity of the lobe with or without a tooth Corolline corona absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigmatic head flat
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Infructescences
Fruiting pedicel usually contorted; follicles single, lanceolate to subglobose, beaked or not, variously inflated, with or without pubescent filiform processes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pollinarium
Pollinaria with a pair of pendent flattened pollinia
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovate with one convex and one concave face, verrucose; tuft of hairs c. 3 cm long.
Distribution
Genus of 20 species native to tropical and subtropical Africa and Arabia, a few species naturalised elsewhere in warm-temperate and subtropical parts of the world.
[FSOM]

Goyder, D. J., Gilbert, M. G. & Venter, H. J. T. (2020). Apocynaceae (part 2). In: M. A. García (ed.), Flora Zambesiaca, Vol. 7(3). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Morphology General Habit
Shrubby or pyrophytic perennial herbs; stems erect, branched or not, frequently woody below
Morphology Roots
Root system mostly a fibrous tap root, sometimes somewhat thickened and woody, but never tuberous
Morphology General
Latex white, copious
Morphology Leaves
Leaves generally in opposite pairs, occasionally subopposite or in whorls of 3 or 4
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences extra-axillary with flowers in a nodding umbel
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals free
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla lobes united only at the base, spreading or reflexed, abaxial face glabrous or pubescent, occasionally tomentose, adaxial face glabrous or minutely papillose, occasionally pubescent, commonly with a line of long white hairs along the right margin
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corona
Corolline corona absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynostegium
Gynostegial corona of 5 minute interstaminal lobules near the base of the anther wings and 5 well-developed cucullate staminal lobes attached above the base of the staminal column, with or without teeth or processes on the upper margins and mostly lacking a tooth in the cavity
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Margins of anther wings straight, slightly convex or slightly sinuous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pollinarium
Corpusculum ovoid to subcylindrical, brown or black, with or without translucent flanges up the sides; translator arms flattened and geniculate or differentially thickened; pollinia flattened, oblong or oblanceolate to obovate, occasionally subtriangular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Stylar head flat
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruiting pedicel mostly contorted to hold follicle erect, occasionally straight or weakly sinuous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Follicles generally single by abortion, variable in shape from subcylindrical to ovoid or globose, strongly inflated in some taxa, weakly or not at all in others, surface frequently ornamented with pubescent filiform processes Seeds comose, generally ovate, with one convex and one concave face, verrucose, without a marginal rim, or in the G. glaucophyllus group with a convoluted margin, or rarely (G. rivularis) smooth, and with an inflated rim.
Distribution
Native to drier parts of the African continent and contiguous parts of Arabia, Sinai, Israel and Jordan.
[FZ]

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

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

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

  • 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