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This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Ethiopia.


Awas, T. & Nordal, I. (2007). Benishangul Gumuz Region in Ethiopia: A Centre of Endemism for Chlorophytum: With a Description of C. pseudocaule Sp. Nov. (Anthericaceae). Kew Bulletin, 62(1), 129-132. Retrieved from

Morphology General Habit
Herb up to 105 cm high
Morphology Leaves
Leaf bases forming a distinct pseudostem up to 40 cm long, surrounded by cataphylls almost without lamina in lower (outer) part, inner leaves with well developed lamina up to 40 cm long, 5 - 6.5 cm wide, with 20 - 28 spaced veins and a distinct midrib
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers urceolate, pale brown; tepals 6 mm long, 1 - 1.5 mm wide, reflexed and 3-veined; filaments filiform, scabrid, subequal longer ones 4 - 5 mm long, shorter ones 3 mm; anthers 0.7 mm, curved, versatile; style exserted, slightly bent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicel up to 10 mm, jointed below the middle, pale brown above the articulation, green below
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules 3-locular c. 5 mm long, 5 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a much branched panicle with 2 - 3 flowers at each node; bracts of the side branches up to 5 cm long, floral bracts up to 0.7 cm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Peduncle with 1 - 2 bract-like leaves, 10 - 13 cm long, 1 - 1.5 cm wide, below the inflorescence
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 2 - 4 per locule, slightly saucer-shaped, 2 mm in diam.
Chlorophytum pseudocaule belongs to a group of Chlorophytum with thick spongy roots without tubers, richly branched panicles and usually greenish to whitish urceolate flowers. The group includes C. andongense Baker, C. macrosporum Baker and C. viridescens Engl. It differs from all of them in possessing a well developed pseudostem. It also has smaller flowers than the two first mentioned species, and larger leaves than the third. C. ruahense Engl. and C. nyassae (Rendle) Kativu are also related to this group, but both are distinct, the first by having large clasping leaves all along the peduncle, the second by its scale-like leaves on the peduncle and the open stellate flowers. C. hirsutum A. D. Poulsen & Nordal, a narrow endemic from open forest in the border areas between Burundi, Congo and Uganda, also belongs to this group. This species is hairy and lacks a pseudostem. There is no doubt that the two known populations of the pseudostemmed taxon deserve recognition at the species level. Three species of Chlorophytum are endemic to the Benishangul Gumuz Region, i.e. about 12% of the species found in Ethiopia. C. pseudocaule is related to a group that is widespread in the Sudano-Zambesian phytochorion. C. serpens belongs in the widespread, heterogeneous C. comosum (Thunb.) Jacques complex with a mainly Guineo-Congolean affinity. C. comosum is found in the shade of rainforest and riverine forest on brown to black loamy clay soil in south-western Ethiopia (Illubabor and Kafa regions); it is found throughout tropical Africa south to the Cape (Sebsebe Demissew et al. 2003). C. serpens grows in Combretum Terminalia woodland and Oxytenanthera abyssinica dominated woodland on reddish sandy soil, between 1100 and 1460 m. C. herrmannii grows on rocky outcrops in 0. abyssinica dominated closed woodland, around 1600 m. Morphologically, C. herrmannii is similar to another fairly narrow Ethiopian endemic, C. neghellense Cufod., growing in Acacia-Combretum Commiphora dominated woodland, often heavily grazed, on red sandy soils between 1000 and 1700 m in Sidamo (Sebsebe Demissew et al. 2003, 2005). The three endemic species show relationships with rather different groups ecologically and geographically. They are restricted to fragmented wetter habitats of Benishangul Gumuz Region, which are probably the result of recent anthropogenic influence rather than geological and climatological events in the past. Endemism in sub-Saharan Africa is hypothesised to be related to paleoclimatic fluctuations (Linder 2001). It has further been suggested that centres of endemism would be in places that have shown climatic stability over longer periods (Lovett & Friis 1996). In general, vicariance or fragmentations of distributional ranges by geological or climatological events are the most widely accepted causes of endemism (Evans et al. 2004). There is no clear evidence yet to explain the mechanisms of evolution of an endemic flora in the Benishangul Gumuz Region. However, Sebsebe Demissew et al. (2005) suggested that the complex topography and the relatively reliable oreographic rain on the western Ethiopian escarpment, together with the hinterland of deep river valleys, provided small refugia during the periods of adverse climatic conditions. This may have secured niches of very restricted range where species could survive unfavourable periods. The best conditions for such niches are likely to have been in the most topographically and geologically complex areas in the lower reaches and at the mouth of the biggest river system in western Ethiopia, the gorges of the Blue Nile River and its tributaries, an area that approximately agrees with the extension of the Benishangul Gumuz National Regional State. The other area with a high concentration of endemic Chloraphytum species within Ethiopia is the lowland surrounding the Bale Mountains. Here also, plants might have found rather stable niches moving up and down the mountain slopes according to changes in climate.
Flowering in June, fruiting in July.
Ethiopia, Benishangul Gumuz National Regional State, Hoha Valley, 15 km NE of Asosa, 10°08.42'N 34°38.17'E, 1430 m, 3 June 2000, Christof Herrmann 127 (holotypus ETH)
Vegetative Multiplication Rhizomes
Rhizome short with several, extensive, thick spongy roots, without tubers

Native to:


Chlorophytum pseudocaule Tesfaye & Nordal appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Kew Bull. 62: 129 (2007)

Accepted by

  • Demissew, S. & Nordal, I. (2010). Aloes and other Lilies of Ethiopia and Eritrea, ed, 2: 1-351. Shama Books, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Hedberg, I., Friis, I. & Persson, E. (2009). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 1: 1-305. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.


Kew Bulletin

  • Edwards,S. , Mesfin Tadesse, Sebsebe Demissew; Hedberg, I. (eds. ). (2000). Flora ofEthiopia and Eritrea, Vol. 2 (1). The National Herbarium, Addis AbabaUniversity, Addis Ababa; Uppsala.
  • Evans, B. J. , Cannatella, D. C. ; Melnick, D. J. (2004). Understanding the origins ofareas of endemism in phylogeographic analyses: a reply to Bridle et al. Evolution 58 (6): 1397 - 1400.
  • Linder, H. P. (2001). Plant diversity and endemism in sub-Saharan tropical Africa. J. Biogeogr. 28: 169 - 182.
  • Lovett, J. C. ; Friis, I. (1996). Patterns of endemism in the woody Flora of north-eastand east Africa. In: L. J. G. van der Maesen, X. M. van der Burgt; J. M. vanMedenbach de Rooy (eds), The Biodiversity of African Plants, pp. 582-601. Kluwer Academic Publisher, Dordrecht.
  • Nordal, I. (1997). Anthericaceae. In: S. Edwards, Sebsebe D. ; I. Hedberg, Flora ofEthiopia and Eritrea, Vol. 6: 90-105. The National Herbarium, Addis AbabaUniversity, Addis Ababa; Uppsala.
  • Sebsebe Demissew, Nordal, I. , Herrmann, C. , Friis, I. , Tesfaye Awas; Stabbetorp, O. (2005). Diversity and endemism of the western Ethiopian escarpment — a preliminary comparison with other areas of the Horn of Africa. Biol. Skr. 55:315 -330.
  • White,F. (1983). The vegetation of Africa: A descriptive memoir to accompany theUNESCO/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. UNESCO, Paris.
  • —, —; Stabbetorp, O. E. (2003). Flowers of Ethiopia and Eritrea — Aloes and otherLilies. Shama's Nature Series, Addis Ababa.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Demissew, S. & Nordal, I. (2010). Aloes and other Lilies of Ethiopia and Eritrea, ed, 2: 1-351. Shama Books, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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 Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

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.