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

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Shrub or small tree 1.8–10.5 m. tall, stiffly branched and with a rounded crown; bark brown or grey-brown, deeply fissured; stems densely pale ferruginous woolly hairy becoming glabrous, some thick and corky with prominent large petiolar scars.
Morphology Leaves
Leaflets (3–)5-foliolate; leaflets elliptic to obovate, 3–19 cm. long, 1.5–9.5 cm. wide, broadly rounded or obtuse at the apex or acute or even very shortly acuminate in young apical leaves, rarely emarginate, cuneate at the base, very discolorous particularly when young, entire, ± roughly pubescent above, densely floccose velvety beneath, sessile but in large leaves the basal narrowing may simulate a winged petiolule; venation ± impressed above, even ± bullate, raised and reticulate beneath under the indumentum; petiole 6–15 cm. long, the apex woolly ferruginous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes few–many-flowered, dense to rather lax, axillary, sometimes almost globose, 6–15 cm. long; axes all densely pubescent; peduncles 2.5–10 cm. long; pedicels ± 1 mm. long, that of central flower up to 2 mm.; bracts linear, 0.8–2 cm. long, 0.5–1 mm. wide, projecting in very young inflorescences.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx obconical, densely ferruginous pubescent; tube 2.5–3 mm. long; teeth triangular-ovate, 1–2 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide, very accrescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla fragrant, white, blue or mauve; tube 3–4 mm. long, hairy outside; main lip lavender, oblong, ovate or ± round, 3–5 × 4–5 mm., also with 4 white lobes 1.5 × 1.5 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens not or scarcely exserted at least not beyond length of shortest corolla-lobes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary hairy.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits black, oblong or ± subglobose, 2–2.5 cm. long, 1.4–2.4 cm. wide, ± shiny, glabrous, edible. Calycine cup dark, 1–2 cm. high, 1.5–2.5 cm. wide, broadly crenate; fruiting pedicel 2–5 mm. long.

[FZ]

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

Type
Type from Tanzania.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves (3)5-foliolate; petiole 3–16 cm, terete; petiolules ± absent; leaflets 8–16 × (2)3–9 cm, median leaflet largest, elliptic to obovate, rounded or obtuse at the apex or acute to shortly acuminate, rarely emarginate, cuneate at the base, entire, discolorous especially when young, ± roughly pubescent above, densely floccose beneath, venation impressed above, raised and reticulate beneath under the indumentum Leaves (3)5-foliolate; petiole 3–16 cm, terete; petiolules ± absent; leaflets 8–16 × (2)3–9 cm, median leaflet largest, elliptic to obovate, rounded or obtuse at the apex or acute to shortly acuminate, rarely emarginate, cuneate at the base, entire, discolorous especially when young, ± roughly pubescent above, densely floccose beneath, venation impressed above, raised and reticulate beneath under the indumentum.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences axillary, of few–many-flowered, dense to somewhat lax compound dichasia, 3–18 cm long, orange-tawny tomentose or woolly when young; bracteoles 0.8–2.5 cm long,  linear Inflorescences axillary, of few–many-flowered, dense to somewhat lax compound dichasia, 3–18 cm long, orange-tawny tomentose or woolly when young; bracteoles 0.8–2.5 cm long, linear.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx obconical, 5-lobed, gland-dotted, lanate, strongly accrescent in fruit; tube 2.5–3 mm long; lobes 0.5–1 mm long, erect Calyx obconical, 5-lobed, gland-dotted, lanate, strongly accrescent in fruit; tube 2.5–3 mm long; lobes 0.5–1 mm long, erect.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla fragrant, 6–7 mm long, gland-dotted, lanate; tube white-blue, mauve or purple, 3–4 mm long, curved, hairy outside; lobes at an obtuse angle to the tube, middle lower lobe mauve or whitish, 2–3 × 2–3 mm, oblong, ovate or ± round, other lobes white Corolla fragrant, 6–7 mm long, gland-dotted, lanate; tube white-blue, mauve or purple, 3–4 mm long, curved, hairy outside; lobes at an obtuse angle to the tube, middle lower lobe mauve or whitish, 2–3 × 2–3 mm, oblong, ovate or ± round, other lobes white.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens enclosed within the corolla tube; filaments with glandular hairs Stamens enclosed within the corolla tube; filaments with glandular hairs.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary globose, apically rounded, not gland-dotted, lanate at apex; style c. 4 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit an edible shiny glabrous drupe, black at maturity, c. 2–3 × 2 cm, ellipsoid to obovoid, rounded at apex, the lower half enclosed in the enlarged calyx; fruiting calyx cup-shaped, 1–2 cm high, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, broadly crenate, pubescent, not gland-dotted. Fruit an edible shiny glabrous drupe, black at maturity, c. 2–3 × 2 cm, ellipsoid to obovoid, rounded at apex, the lower half enclosed in the enlarged calyx; fruiting calyx cup-shaped, 1–2 cm high, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, broadly crenate, pubescent, not gland-dotted.
Ecology
Open woodland, wooded grassland and on rocky outcrops at medium to low altitudes; 50–1500 m.
Note
Characteristic features of this species are the sessile leaflets, the thick tawny woolly indumentum, especially on the young inflorescence, and the relatively small flowers.  For comments on its affinities, see discussion under V. mombassae.
Distribution
Botswana Mozambique Malawi Zimbabwe Zambia District code: MOZ N, MOZ W, MOZ C, MOZ S, ZIM N, ZIM W, ZIM C, ZIM E, ZIM S, MAL N, MAL C, MAL S, MOZ N, MOZ Z, MOZ T, MOZ MS, MOZ GI, BOT N, BOT B, BOT N, BOT W, BOT C, BOT E, BOT S, ZIM N, ZIM W, ZIM C, ZIM E, ZIM S, MAL N, MAL C, MAL S, MOZ N, MOZ Z, MOZ T, MOZ MS. Also in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola.
Morphology General Habit
Shrub or small tree 4–10(13) m tall, with rounded crown; bark light brown to grey-brown, deeply vertically fissured; branches pale hairy becoming glabrous; young branches and twigs densely orange-tawny lanate. Shrub or small tree 4–10(13) m tall, with rounded crown; bark light brown to grey-brown, deeply vertically fissured; branches pale hairy becoming glabrous; young branches and twigs densely orange-tawny lanate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary globose, apically rounded, not gland-dotted, lanate at apex; style c. 4 mm long.

Native to:

Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Vitex payos (Lour.) Merr. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2008 Luke, Q. et al. [5202], Tanzania K000509851
Jan 1, 2005 Loureiro [s.n.], China K000223712 Unknown type material
Oct 1, 1999 Gibbs, L. [236] K000249037 Unknown type material
Goetze, W. [548] K000241360 Unknown type material

First published in Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n.s., 24: 334 (1935)

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.
  • Fernandes, R. & Diniz, M.A. (2005). Avicenniaceae, Nesogenaceae, Verbenaceae and Lamiaceae (subfams, Viticoideae and Ajugoideae) Flora Zambesiaca 8(7): 1-161. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 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.
  • Meerts, P. (2018). Synopsis of the genus Vites (Lamiaceae) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Plant Ecology and Evolution 151: 380-392.

Literature

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 62 , Beibl. 141: 60 (1928).
  • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 62 , Beibl. 141: 65 (1928).
  • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 62 , Beibl. 141: 66 (1928).
  • Brenan, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Tang. Terr.: 643 (1949).
  • Estud. Ensaios Doc. Junta Invest. Ci. Ultramar [in Mendonça, Contrib. Conhec. Fl. Moçamb. II]: 172 (1954), as ‘ V. irvingensis ’.
  • Estud. Ensaios Doc. Junta Invest. Ci. Ultramar [in Mendonça, Contrib. Conhec. Fl. Moçamb. II]: 172 (1954).
  • F.T.E.A., Verbenaceae: 63 (1992).
  • K. Coates Palgrave, Trees South. Africa: 811 (1977).
  • Kew Bull. 56 : 200 (2001).
  • Kew Bull. 56 : 205 (2001).
  • Kirkia 10 : 272 (1975).
  • M. Coates Palgrave, ed. 3 of K. Coates Palgrave, Trees South. Africa: 985, illust. 274 (2002).
  • Mém. Inst. Invest. Agron. Moçambique 6 (1): 79–81 (1972).
  • O.H. Coates Palgrave, Trees Central Africa: 430–3, plates (1956).
  • Phytologia 6 : 217 (1958).
  • Phytologia 6 : 45 (1957).
  • Rhodesia Agric. J. 50 : 186, photos (1953).
  • Sim, For. Fl. Port. E. Africa: 94 (1909).
  • Taxon 38 : 155 (1989)
  • Topham, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Nyasaland Prot.: 102 (1958).
  • Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Africa 5 : 459 (1916).
  • White, For. Fl. N. Rhod.: 372 (1962).

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Coates Palgrave, Trees Centr. Afr.: 430–3, plates (1957).
  • Coates Palgrave, Trees S. Afr.: 811 (1977).
  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 597 (1961).
  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 372 (1962).
  • 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).
  • Merr. in Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 24: 334 (1935).
  • Palmer & Pitman, Trees S. Afr. 3: 1962 (1972).
  • Verdc. in Taxon 38:155 (1989), nom. spec. conserv. propos. (see note).
  • 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
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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