Osyris lanceolata Hochst. & Steud. ex A. DC.

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Osyris lanceolata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Kaperepeza road, Nyika National Park

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Synonyms: Osyris abyssinica Hochst. ex A. Rich.
Osyris quadripartita Salzm. ex Decne.
Common names: Bark bush (English) Rock tannin-bush (English) Transvaal sumach (English)
Status: Native
Mostly a large evergreen shrub but occasionally a small tree. Branches blue-green, erect and angular. Leaves alternate, lanceolate, 3-4.5 cm long, glaucous, thickly leathery, veining obscure; apex with a sharp tip; margin entire. Flowers in axillary clusters on long stalks, small, yellow-green; lobes 3. Stamens usually 3, rarely 4. Fruit c. 10 × 15 mm, yellow becoming red when ripe, crowned with the remains of the calyx.
Derivation of specific name: lanceolata: lanceolate
Habitat: On rocky outcrops and hillsides, in woodland and wooded grassland.
Altitude range: 1000 - 2280 m
Flowering time:Sep - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in northern, eastern and southern Africa from Morocco to South Africa, Southern Europe (Spain and Balearic Isles) and Asia.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Mylothris agathina agathina (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 259. as Osyris quadripartita (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 107. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 41.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 27.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 194 - 195. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 235.

Hilliard, O.M. (2006). Santalaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(3) Pages 244 - 246. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 76.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 100.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Pages 6 - 7. as Osyris abyssinica

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 172.

Other sources of information about Osyris lanceolata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Osyris lanceolata
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Osyris lanceolata
Flora of Mozambique: Osyris lanceolata
Flora of Zambia: Osyris lanceolata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Osyris lanceolata

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Osyris lanceolata.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=121290, retrieved 2 December 2023

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