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This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to S. Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

Verbenaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1992

Morphology General Habit
Much-branched shrub or small tree 1.2–6 m. tall, with white, grey or reddish brown corrugated or fissured bark which becomes stringy, less often smooth.
Morphology General Shoots
Shoots more slender than in species 13, densely orange ferruginous velvety with more adpressed pubescence but sometimes more snaggy in some areas (e.g. T1).
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 3–5-foliolate; leaflets elliptic, 0.5–13.5 cm. long, 0.5–5.5 cm. wide, shortly acuminate (always in young apical leaves) to broadly rounded or rarely emarginate at the apex, cuneate at the base, with scattered pubescence above, ferruginous velvety beneath with tangled hairs but sometimes glabrescent; venation impressed above, ± bullate and finely reticulate beneath; petiole 2–5.5 cm. long; leaflets sessile or central leaflets with petiolule 6–7(–10 in T4) mm. long in longest leaves or all leaflets petiolulate even in small leaves in some areas (e.g. T4).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences ± 4 cm. long, densely ± adpressed ferruginous; peduncle 2–5 cm. long; bracts narrowly oblong to oblanceolate, 1.1–1.8 cm. long, 3–4 mm. wide, acuminate, glabrous inside.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx densely ferruginous hairy; tube 3.5–4 mm. long; lobes 1.5–2 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla pale blue, pale purple or blue-mauve with throat and the smallest lobes creamy white; tube 7–9 mm. long, pubescent outside; larger lower lip 0.8–1.3 cm. long, 0.7–1 cm. wide, sometimes yellow at base, hairy in middle; small lobes round or triangular, 5 × 3–5 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens exserted 5–9 mm.; filaments rather stout, micropapillate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Style exserted 5–9 mm. Ovary densely pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits dark purple, globose, (1.5(T4)–)2–3.2(–3.5) cm. diameter, ± slightly pubescent at apex. Calycine cup 1.5–1.7 cm. long, 1 cm. wide, ± venose, distinctly toothed, pubescent. Dried mesocarp a dense mass of fibres.
Figures
Fig. 9.
Habitat
Scrub and thicket, Hyphaene, Albizia, etc., Sterculia, Pterocarpus, secondary bushland, Brachystegia woodland, often on rocky granite hills; 20–1580 m.
Distribution
K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8

[FZ]

Flora Zambesiaca. Vol 8, Pt 7. Avicenniaceae, R. Fernandes. Nesogenaceae, M.A. Diniz. Verbenaceae, R. Fernandes. Lamiaceae, R. Fernandes. 2005.

Type
Type from Kenya.
Morphology General
Much branched shrub or small deciduous tree up to 8(17) m tall; bark grey-brown, fissured becoming stringy; older branches grey-brown or red-brown pubescent; young branches and twigs densely orange-tawny lanate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences axillary, of few-flowered simple dichasia, 4–12 cm long, shortly orange-tawny villose or lanate with ± densely tangled pilose hairs; bracteoles 0.8–2 cm long, narrow-lanceolate or narrow-spathulate Inflorescences axillary, of few-flowered simple dichasia, 4–12 cm long, shortly orange-tawny villose or lanate with ± densely tangled pilose hairs; bracteoles 0.8–2 cm long, narrow-lanceolate or narrow-spathulate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx obconical, 5-lobed, gland-dotted, lanate outside, strongly accrescent in fruit; tube 3–4 mm long; lobes 2–3 mm long, erect Calyx obconical, 5-lobed, gland-dotted, lanate outside, strongly accrescent in fruit; tube 3–4 mm long; lobes 2–3 mm long, erect.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla c. 23 mm long, gland-dotted, villose with tangled pilose hairs and gland-tipped hairs outside, gland-dotted; tube creamy-white and mauve, 12–13 mm long, curved; lobes at acute angle to tube, middle lower lobe mauve, 6–7 × 6.5–7 mm, other lobes creamy-white smaller and rounded or triangular Corolla c. 23 mm long, gland-dotted, villose with tangled pilose hairs and gland-tipped hairs outside, gland-dotted; tube creamy-white and mauve, 12–13 mm long, curved; lobes at acute angle to tube, middle lower lobe mauve, 6–7 × 6.5–7 mm, other lobes creamy-white smaller and rounded or triangular.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary obovoid, truncate apex and lanate at the apex, gland-dotted; style c. 14–16 mm long, exserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit an edible spherical drupe, dark brown to purplish-black at maturity, c. 4 × 3 cm, globose, the lower end not or hardly enclosed in the enlarged calyx; fruiting calyx at first somewhat cup-shaped up to c. 1.5 cm long and c. 1 cm wide, later opening out becoming saucer-shaped, shortly toothed, puberulent, sometimes gland-dotted. Fruit an edible spherical drupe, dark brown to purplish-black at maturity, c. 4 × 3 cm, globose, the lower end not or hardly enclosed in the enlarged calyx; fruiting calyx at first somewhat cup-shaped up to c. 1.5 cm long and c. 1 cm wide, later opening out becoming saucer-shaped, shortly toothed, puberulent, sometimes gland-dotted.
Ecology
Deciduous woodland and thickets on Kalahari Sand and on escarpments and rocky outcrops, and in wooded grasslands; 300–1800 m.
Note
  V. mombassae and V. payos can appear very similar – being similar in leaflet indumentum, inflorescence structure (though often much denser in V. payos ), leaflets broadly lanceolate and often sessile and inflorescences often shorter than the leaves.  However, V. mombassae usually has much more delicate branches, petioles and peduncles.  The leaflet upper surface is bullate in V. mombassae and smooth or slightly bullate in V. payos , the flowers are much larger in V. mombassae (lower lip c. 6–7 mm long and 2–3 mm in V. payos ) with clearly exserted stamens, the bracteoles are lanceolate to spathulate in V. mombassae and linear in V. payos and the calyx teeth c. 3 mm long in V. mombassae and c. 1.5 mm long in V. payos .   V. angolensis Gürke is cited as occurring in Caprivi Strip by Bredenkamp & Botha (Bothalia 26 , 2: 146 (1996)), but no specimens from there have been seen.   V. pooara Corbishley was merged, wrongly in my opinion, with V. mombassae by K. Coates Palgrave in Trees South. Africa: 810 (1977).  For further details on V. pooara see discussion under ‘Doubtful Record’ below.
Distribution
Also in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Dem. Rep. Congo, Angola, Namibia and South Africa (Limpopo Province). Caprivi Strip.
Morphology General Habit
Much branched shrub or small deciduous tree up to 8(17) m tall; bark grey-brown, fissured becoming stringy; older branches grey-brown or red-brown pubescent; young branches and twigs densely orange-tawny lanate.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 3–5-foliolate, aromatic when crushed; petiole 1.5–9 cm long, terete; petiolules absent or up to 0.6 cm long in median leaflet; leaflets 3–10 × 1.5–6 cm, elliptic to somewhat obovate, rounded or in apical leaves shortly acuminate at the apex, broadly cuneate to rounded at the base, entire, coriaceous, ± sparsely pubescent above, shortly lanate on the nerves and reticulation beneath or glabrescent, gland-dotted beneath, venation impressed above and the blade ± bullate, nerves and reticulation raised beneath. Leaves 3–5-foliolate, aromatic when crushed; petiole 1.5–9 cm long, terete; petiolules absent or up to 0.6 cm long in median leaflet; leaflets 3–10 × 1.5–6 cm, elliptic to somewhat obovate, rounded or in apical leaves shortly acuminate at the apex, broadly cuneate to rounded at the base, entire, coriaceous, ± sparsely pubescent above, shortly lanate on the nerves and reticulation beneath or glabrescent, gland-dotted beneath, venation impressed above and the blade ± bullate, nerves and reticulation raised beneath
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens exserted from corolla tube; filaments with glandular hairs. Stamens exserted from corolla tube; filaments with glandular hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary obovoid, truncate apex and lanate at the apex, gland-dotted; style c. 14–16 mm long, exserted.

Native to:

Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Caprivi Strip, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Vitex mombassae Vatke appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Dec 20, 2012 Burrows, J.E. [11183], Mozambique K000823885
Jan 1, 2011 Chishala [28], Zambia K000249962
Jan 1, 2009 Burrows, J.E. [11130], Mozambique K000823748
Jan 1, 2008 Tawakali [66], Malawi K000479816
Jan 1, 2008 Patel [1689], Malawi K000479817
Jan 1, 2007 Welwitsch, F.M.J. [5731], Angola K000735140 syntype
Jan 1, 2007 Welwitsch, F.M.J. [5731], Angola K001096703 isotype
Oct 1, 1999 Buchanan, J. [231], Malawi K000249035 syntype
Jan 1, 1993 Chapman, J.D. [7468], Malawi K000315172
Dec 16, 1936 Gillett, J.B. [3320], South Africa K000315178
Tanner, R. [447], Tanzania 18109.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [8678], Tanzania 28480.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [2835A], Zambia 35053.000
Robson, N. [1328], Malawi 7299.000
Goetze, W. [85] K000241361
Hildebrandt, J.M. [1972] K000192785
Tawakali, E.J. [1208], Malawi K000315173
Schmidt, H.H. [1411], Zambia K000315175
Smith, P.P. [1544], Zambia K000315176
Macuacua, L. [1420], Mozambique K000315177
s.coll. [8], Angola K000249036 Unknown type material
Chapman, J.D. [5566], Malawi K000315171
Venter, F. [384], Botswana K000315174
Gossweiler, J. [1056, 1063], Angola K001008431
Gossweiler, J. [1053], Angola K001008430
Bamps, P. [4240], Angola K001008433
Gossweiler, J. [1064], Angola K001008429
Gossweiler, J. [1056], Angola K001008432
Culwick, G.M. [5], Tanzania Vitex flavescens 11721.000

First published in Linnaea 43: 533 (1882)

Accepted by

  • Calane da Silva, M., Izdine, S. & Amuse, A.B. (2004). A Preliminary Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Mozambique: 1-184. SABONET, Pretoria.
  • Curtis, B. & Mannheimer, C. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia: 1-688. The National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
  • Meerts, P. (2018). Synopsis of the genus Vites (Lamiaceae) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Plant Ecology and Evolution 151: 380-392.
  • Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.

Literature

Flora Zambesiaca

  • B.-E. van Wyk, Phot. Guide to Trees of Southern Africa: 317 (2000).
  • Barnes & Turton, List Fl. Pl. Botswana at Nat. Mus., Sebele & Univ. Botswana: 27 (1986).
  • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 62 , Beibl. 141: 66 (1928).
  • Bothalia 26 :146 (1996).
  • Brenan, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Tang. Terr.: 642 (1949).
  • Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Brit. Emp. 2, Nyasaland: 102 (1958).
  • Engler, Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas C : 339 (1895).
  • Estud. Ensaios Doc. Junta Invest. Ci. Ultramar [in Mendonça, Contrib. Conhec. Fl. Moçamb. II]: 173 (1954).
  • F.T.A. 5 : 326 (1900).
  • F.T.E.A., Verbenaceae: 64, fig. 9 (1992).
  • J. S. African Bot. 18 : 76 (1952).
  • K. Coates Palgrave, Trees South. Africa: 810 (1977).
  • Kew Bull. 56 : 197 (2001).
  • Kirkia 10 : 272 (1975).
  • M. Coates Palgrave, ed. 3 of K. Coates Palgrave, Trees South. Africa: 983 (2002).  TAB. 13 .
  • Phytologia 5 : 481 (1955).
  • S. African J. Bot. 59 : 617 (1993)
  • Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Africa 5 : 459 (1916).
  • White, For. Fl. N. Rhod.: 371 (1962).
  • sensu Topham, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Nyasaland Prot.: 102 (1958).

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Bak. in Flora of Tropical Africa 5: 326 (1900), pro parte.
  • Coates Palgrave, Trees S. Afr.: 810 (1977).
  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 597 (1961).
  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 371 (1962).
  • Gürke in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 339 (1895).
  • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 644 (1949).
  • Pieper in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 62, Beibl. 141: 66 (1928).
  • Vatke in Linnaea 43: 533 (1882).
  • Vollesen in Opera Bot. 59: 83 (1980).

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
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Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
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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 http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0