6870.000 Brachystelma R. Br.

MACROPETALUM Burch. ex Decne.


Bruyns, P.V., Klak, C. & Hanáček, P. (2017) A revised, phylogenetically-based concept of Ceropegia (Apocynaceae) South African Journal of Botany 112 399-436

Dyer, R.A. (1980) Asclepiadaceae: Brachystelma, Ceropegia and Riocreuxia Flora of Southern Africa 27(4) 1 - 88

Description of the genus

Usually dwarf, prostrate to erect, perennial herbs with a single tuber or a cluster of fusiform roots. Flowers in umbel-like inflorescences, terminal or lateral at the nodes. Corolla campanulate to ± flat; lobes spreading or united at tips to form a cage-like structure. Corona (1-)2-seriate; outer corona of distinct lobes; inner linear-oblong. Anthers horizontal, pressed onto style head. Follicles smooth, paired. Seeds with a narrow marginal wing, crowned with tuft of hairs.

Comment: We follow the concepts of Flora Zambesiaca where it has been accepted that Brachystelma should be sunk under Ceropegia but to keep the stapeliad genera as separate and accepted. Analyses have shown the stapeliads to form a very well defined monophyletic group nested within Ceropegia. However, formal inclusion of this group within Ceropegia as proposed by Bruyns et al. (2017) is not accepted. The stapeliads offer a very good example of a situation that makes a strong case for the acceptance of paraphyletic grouping as the alternatives of either following Bruyns et al. (2017) and lumping everything into the one genus, or of dividing up Ceropegia into what would have to be a very long series of totally new genera, are both impracticable as they would cause a major disruption in the connectivity of data within the group through the introduction of very many unfamiliar and thus uninformative names and thus serve very little useful purpose. The indications so far are that it is likely that such changes will not be accepted by the user community.

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Other sources of information about Brachystelma:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Brachystelma
Flora of Mozambique: Brachystelma
Flora of Zambia: Brachystelma
Flora of Zimbabwe: Brachystelma

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Brachystelma
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Brachystelma
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Brachystelma
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Brachystelma
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Brachystelma
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Brachystelma
JSTOR Plant Science: Brachystelma
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Brachystelma
Plants of the World Online: Brachystelma
Tropicos: Brachystelma
Wikipedia: Brachystelma

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Genus page: Brachystelma.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=1152, retrieved 16 April 2024

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