Peliostomum viscosum E.Mey. ex Benth.

This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Namibia to NW. Cape Prov.


Kolberg H., van Salgeren M. 2016. A synopsis of Aptosimum and Peliostomum (Scrophulariaceae) in Namibia, including the description of a new species, Aptosimum radiatum, and keys to all accepted species. Kew Bulletin 71:16. DOI 10.1007/S12225-016-9628-7

Evaluated for Namibia as LC. Under criterion B the EOO qualifies the species for VU and the AOO for EN, but no additional two criteria to place the species into a threatened category, are met (IUCN 2012, 2013). The small EOO and AOO are possibly due to the insufficient data that were available. In South Africa the species is evaluated as LC (SANBI 2014).
Africa: Namibia, South Africa.
Occurs in rocky sand with various lithologies on plains, slopes and outcrops. Recorded for the succulent steppe, desert-dwarf shrub savanna transition and dwarf shrub savanna vegetation types (Mendelsohn et al. 2010). Found in the Southern Namib Succulent Desert, Huns-Orange, Escarpment and Gordonia phytogeographical groups of Craven (2009). Altitude: 600 – 1180 m.
Morphology General Habit
Shrub, erect, 10 – 15 (– 25) cm tall, not spinescent
Morphology Leaves
Leaves obovate at base of plant, upper subrotund, 6 – 15 × 3 – 8 mm, slightly fleshy, viscid, glandular; apex obtuse; base sessile to narrowed into petiole; petiole 1 – 2 mm long; midrib of basal leaves prominent beneath
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers solitary, axillary, subsessile, overtopping leaves; bracteoles half the length of calyx
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4; filaments almost equal in length; anthers equal, shortly ciliate-pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx lobed to base, 4 – 5 mm long; lobes linear to narrowly obovate, shorter than capsule, predominantly glandular-hairy outside, viscid, papillose inside, glandular hairs intermixed towards apex, apex acute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 12 – 20 mm long, overtopping bracteoles; narrow basal part of tube only just longer than calyx, whitish to pale purple, often with darker venation outside; lobes circular to elliptic, inside dark blue to purple with darker patch at base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary narrowly ovoid, glandular hairy; style filiform, pubescent and slightly glandular at base; stigma capitellate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule narrowly ovoid, apex slightly compressed, 5 – 8 mm long, puberulous, glandular; calyx lobes reaching about half length of capsule
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed ellipsoid, pale tan to whitish, with white, longitudinal, laminate protruberances that have irregular margins.
Morphology Stem
Stems woody at base, sometimes only weakly so, rigid, erect, divaricately branched at base, leafy above, viscid, appressed glandular-pubescent, internodes of variable length
Drège s.n. [2446] in the Paris herbarium (P-3412891) is chosen here as the lectotype because of the good quality of the specimen bearing a label in the collector’s handwriting.

Phillips (1950) was of the opinion that species of Peliostomum should be included within Aptosimum and published the necessary name changes. He did, however, not consider that he created a later homonym by transferring P. viscosum to Aptosimum since the resulting name had already been used by Bentham (1836) who described both A. viscosum and P. viscosum in that publication.Peliostomum viscosum may resemble forms of P. leucorrhizum (notably in its southern distribution range) where leaf shape is similar. It is usually far more densely glandular all over and the anther indumentum differs.

Flowering and fruiting throughout the year. Peak flowering: June – Sept. Peak fruiting: July – Sept.
Type: South Africa, Rocks on the Gariep [Garip, auf steinigen und felsigen Höhen bei Verleptpram], Drège s.n. [2446] (lectotype P-3412891!, selected here; isolectotypes HBG-512060!, S-G-4657!).

Native to:

Cape Provinces, Namibia

Peliostomum viscosum E.Mey. ex Benth. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Drege [2446], South Africa K000410883 Yes
Drege [2446], South Africa K000410884 Yes

First published in Edwards's Bot. Reg. 22: t. 1882 (1836)

Accepted by

  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.


Kew Bulletin

  • (Bentham 1836: sub t. 1882
  • Bentham 1846: 346
  • Bentham, G. (1836). Aptosimum and A. depressum. In: J. Lindley, Aptosimum depressum. Depressed Aptosimum. Edwards's Bot. Reg. 22 or n.s. 9: sub t. 1882.
  • Bentham, G. (1846). Scrophulariaceae. In: A. P. De Candolle, Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis, Pars Decima. Treuttel & Würtz, Paris. [Aptosimum on pp. 344 – 346 Peliostomum on p. 346]
  • Bremekamp, C. E. B. (1933). New or otherwise noteworthy plants from the Northern Transvaal. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 15: 233 – 256.
  • Brummitt, R. K. (1978). Report of the committee for Spermatophyta, 21. Taxon 27: 543 – 546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Codd, L. E. W. (1976). Nomina conservanda proposita. Taxon 25: 190 – 191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Codd, L. E. W. (1982). Scrophulariaceae. Notes on the genus Aptosimum. Bothalia 14: 80 – 81.
  • Craven, P. (2009). Phytogeographic study of the Kaokoveld Centre of Endemism. PhD Thesis, University of Stellenbosch.
  • Cuccuini, P. & Nepi, C. (2006). Scrophulariaceae. In: M. Thulin (ed.), Flora of Somalia. Vol. 3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Aptosimum pumilum on p. 269]
  • Dinter, M. K. (1932). Diagnosen neuer südwestafrikanischer Pflanzen. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 30: 188 – 189.
  • Drège, J. F. (1843). Zwei pflanzengeographische Documente. Besondere Beigabe zur Flora 1843 Band II: 1 – 230. Königliche Botanische Gesellschaft, Regensburg. [With an introduction by […nebst einer Einleitung von…] E. Meyer, on pp. 3 – 43]
  • Drège, J. F. (1846). Vergleichungen der von Ecklon und Zeyher und von Drège gesammelten südafrikanischen Pflanzen. Linnaea 20: 198.
  • Du Pisani, E. (1983). Past and present plant utilization in Namaland and the lower Kuiseb River Valley, South West Africa (Namibia). A preliminary report. Khoisis Occasional Papers 4: 1 – 19.
  • Dyer, R. A. & Milne-Redhead, E. (1934). XXXII — Notes on the Flora of Southern Africa: the genus Ruellia in Thunberg's Herbarium. Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1934: 264 – 265.
  • Engler, H. G. A. & Gilg, E. (1903). Scrophulariaceae. In: O. Warburg (ed.), Kunene-Sambesi-Expedition. H. Baum. 1903. Verlag des Kolonial-Wirtschaftlichen Komitees, Berlin. [Aptosimum on p. 361]
  • Engler, H. G. A. (1889). Plantae Marlothianae. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Flora Südafrikas. II. Teil: Dikotyledonae sympetalae. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 10: 242 – 285. [Aptosimum on p. 249 – 251, Peliostomum on p. 251]
  • Engler, H. G. A. (1895). Plantae Gürichianae. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Flora von Deutschsüdwestafrika. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 19: 128 – 152. [Aptosimum and Peliostomum on p. 149]
  • Farr, E. R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds) (2014). Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). 1996+. on 28 July 2014).
  • Ghazanfar, S. A. (2008). Scrophulariaceae. In: E. Figueiredo & G. F. Smith (eds), Plants of Angola/Plantas de Angola. Strelitzia, 22: 158 – 159.
  • Hedberg, I. & Staugård, F. (1989). Traditional medicinal plants. Traditional medicine in Botswana. Ipeleng Publishers, Gaberone.
  • Hemsley, W. B. & Skan, S. A. (1906). Scrophulariaceae. In: W. T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed.), Flora of Tropical Africa, Vol. 4, sect. 2. Hydrophyllaceae to Pedalineae. Lovell Reeve & Co., Ltd., London. [Aptosimum on pp. 267 – 275]
  • Hiern (1904: 134)
  • Hiern, W. P. (1876). Scrophulariaceae: Anticharis. In: G. Bentham & J. D. Hooker (eds), Genera Plantarum ad exemplaria imprimis in herbariis Kewensibus servata definita. Vol. 2, Part 2. Lovell Reeve & Co., Williams & Norgate, London. [Anticharis on p. 928]
  • Hiern, W. P. (1898). Catalogue of the African Plants collected by Dr. Friedrich Welwitsch in 1853 – 61, Vol. 1, Part 3. British Museum (Natural History), London. [Aptosimum on p. 755]
  • Hiern, W. P. (1904). Scrophulariaceae. In: W. T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed.), Flora Capensis, Vol. IV, Sect. 2. Hydrophyllaceae to Pedalineae. Lovell Reeve & Co., Ltd., London. [Aptosimum and Peliostomum on pp. 125 – 136]
  • Hilliard, O. M. (1992). New names and combinations in Jamesbrittenia (Scrophulariaceae – Manuleae). Edinburgh J. Bot. 49: 225 – 233.
  • Hilliard, O. M. (1994). The Manuleae. A tribe of Scrophulariaceae. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. [Jamesbrittenia fruticosa on p. 158]
  • Hochstetter, C. H. F. (1841). Plantarum Nubicarum nova genera. Flora 24: 371 – 373.
  • IUCN (2012). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 3.1. Second edn.. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge.
  • IUCN (Standards and Petitions Subcommittee). (2013). Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 10. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Downloadable from
  • Kuntze, O. (1898). Revisio Generum Plantarum. Leges nomenclaturae internationales cum enumeratione plantarum exoticarum. Pars III. Commissionen Leipzig, London, Melbourne, Milano, New York, Paris. [Pars 3(3): 1 – 576 from 1898 Peliostomum linearifolium on p. 238]
  • Lehmann, J. G. C. (1835). Delectus seminum quae in horto hamburgensium botanico e collectioni anni 1835 mutuae commutation offerentur. Typis Joannis Augusti Meissneri, Hamburgi.
  • Liengme, C. A. (1981). Plants used by the Tsonga people of Gazankulu. Bothalia 13: 501 – 518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • McNeill, J., Barrie, F. R., Buck, W. R., Demoulin, V., Greuter, W., Hawksworth, D. L., Herendeen, P. S., Knapp, S., Marhold, K., Prado, J., Prud’homme van Reine, W. F., Smith, G. F., Wiersema, J. H. & Turland, N. J. (2012). International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code), adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress, Melbourne, Australia, July 2011. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein.
  • Mendelsohn, J., Jarvis, A., Roberts, C. & Robertson, T. (2010). Atlas of Namibia. A portrait of the land and its people. Ministry of Environment & Tourism and David Philip, Cape Town.
  • Merxmüller & Roessler (1967: 39)
  • Merxmüller, H. & Roessler, H. (1967). 126. Scrophulariaceae. In: H. Merxmüller (ed.), Prodromus einer Flora von Südwestafrika. J. Cramer, Lehre. [Anticharis on pp. 9 – 12, Aptosimum on pp. 12 – 20, Peliostomum on pp. 37 – 39]
  • Moore, S. (1899). Alabastra Diversa, Part IV. J. Bot. 37: 171 – 172.
  • Oxelman, B., Kornhall, P., Olmstead, R. G. & Bremer, B. (2005). Further disintegration of Scrophulariaceae. Taxon 54: 411 – 425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Philcox, D. (1985). New names in Scrophulariaceae. Kew Bull. 40: 606.
  • Philcox, D. (1990). Scrophulariaceae: Aptosimum. In: E. Launert & G. V. Pope (eds), Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 8, Part 2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Aptosimum on pp. 3 – 7]
  • Phillips, E. P. (1950). Descriptions and changes of name. J. S. African Bot. 16: 15 – 22.
  • Pilger, R. (1913). Scrophulariaceae africanae. II (V). Neue Arten aus Deutsch-Südwest-Afrika. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 48: 434 – 442. [Aptosimum on pp. 434 – 435]
  • Rodin, R. J. (1985). The ethnobotany of the Kwanyama Ovambos. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 9: 1 – 135.
  • Roessler, H. (1966). Bemerkungen zu einigen Scrophulariaceen Südwestafrikas. Mitt. Bot. Staatssamml. München 6: 9 – 10.
  • SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute) (2014). SANBI Integrated Biodiversity Information System (SIBIS). Website Accessed 1 August 2014.
  • Schinz, H. (1890). Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Flora von Deutsch-Südwest-Afrika und der angrenzenden Gebiete. Verh. Bot. Vereins Prov. Brandenburg 31: 179 – 230. [Aptosimum on pp. 184 – 186, Anticharis on pp. 187 – 190]
  • Smithies & Ready 2003: 891.
  • Smithies, S. J. & Ready, J. (2003). Scrophulariaceae. In: G. Germishuizen & N. L. Meyer (eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14: 863 – 891.
  • Smithies, S. J. (2000). Scrophulariaceae. In: O. A. Leistner (ed.), Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera. Strelitzia, 10: 508 – 537.
  • Steyn, H. P. (1981). Nharo plant utilization. An overview. Khoisis Occasional Papers 1: 1 – 31.
  • Sullivan, S. (1998). People, plants and practice in drylands: socio-political and ecological dimensions of resource-use by Damara farmers in north-west Namibia. University College London. Unpublished PhD thesis.
  • Thiers, B. [continuously updated]. Index Herbariorum: A global directory of public herbaria and associated staff. New York Botanical Garden's Virtual Herbarium.
  • Thunberg, C. P. (1800). Prodromus Plantarum Capensium, quas, in Promontorio Bonæ Spei Africes, annis 1772 – 1775. Pars posterior. Joh. Fr. Edman, Uppsala. [Ruellia on p. 104]
  • Thunberg, C. P. (1823). Flora Capensis. Sistens Plantas Promontorii Bonae Spei Africes. J. G. Cottae, Stuttgart. [Ruellia on pp. 479 – 480]
  • Von Koenen, E. (2001). Medicinal, poisonous and edible plants in Namibia. Edition 4. Klaus Hess Publishers, Windhoek.
  • Watt, J. M. & Breyer-Brandwijk, M. G. (1962). The medicinal and poisonous plants of southern and eastern Africa, 2nd ed. E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh & London.
  • Weber 1907: 95
  • Weber, E. (1903). Scrophulariaceae. In: H. Schinz (ed.), Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Afrikanischen Flora. (Neue Folge.) XV. Bull. Herb. Boissier (sér. 2) 3: 894 – 905.
  • Weber, E. (1907). Die Gattungen Aptosimum Burch. und Peliostomum E. Mey. Beih. Bot. Centralbl., Abt. 2, [vol.] 21: 1 – 98.
  • Weberbauer, A. (1901). Ueber die Frucht-Anatomie der Scrophulariaceen. Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 10: 393 – 457.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. 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 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.