Ormocarpum kirkii S. Moore

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Ormocarpum kirkii

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mavhuradonha Eco Wilderness Camp

Ormocarpum kirkii

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mavhuradonha Eco Wilderness Camp

Ormocarpum kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Osborne Dan Recreational Park

Ormocarpum kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Osborne Dan Recreational Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Ormocarpum bibracteatum auct.
Ormocarpum mimosoides S. Moore
Common names: Caterpillar bush (English) Curled caterpillar-pod (English) Small caterpillar-pod (English)
Status: Native
Shrub or small tree up to 9 m; bark longitudinally fissured, rough and corky. Leaves spaced apart on long shoots or borne in fascicles on short shoots; leaflets 7-13, 6-12 × 2-7 mm, elliptic-oblong or the terminal one obovate, pubescent or glabrous, not black-dotted; margin revolute; venation beneath usually not drying dark. Petiole 5-13 mm. Inflorescence a raceme, 1-3-flowered. Corolla persistent; pinkish or purple; blade of standard with two rounded appendages at base. Fruit up to 2 cm long, coiled within the persistent corolla, pubescent, glandular and minutely tuberculate.
Derivation of specific name: kirkii: named after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: At medium and lower altitudes, in woodland, riverine habitats and less often in grassland, sometimes on termite mounds.
Altitude range: 100 - 1500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Somalia, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa (Limpopo and Mpumalanga)
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
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 167. (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 321. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 382. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 70.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 224.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 246.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 86 - 87. (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 50.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 63.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 214 - 215. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 101.

Verdcourt, B. (2000). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(6) Pages 55 - 57. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Ormocarpum kirkii:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Ormocarpum kirkii
Flora of Mozambique: Ormocarpum kirkii
Flora of Zambia: Ormocarpum kirkii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ormocarpum kirkii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ormocarpum kirkii
African Plant Database: Ormocarpum kirkii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ormocarpum kirkii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ormocarpum kirkii
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Ormocarpum kirkii
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Ormocarpum kirkii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ormocarpum kirkii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Ormocarpum kirkii
iNaturalist: Ormocarpum kirkii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ormocarpum kirkii
JSTOR Plant Science: Ormocarpum kirkii
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ormocarpum kirkii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ormocarpum kirkii
Plants of the World Online: Ormocarpum kirkii
The Plant List (version 1.1): Ormocarpum kirkii
Tropicos: Ormocarpum kirkii
Wikipedia: Ormocarpum kirkii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Ormocarpum kirkii.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=130360, retrieved 15 September 2019

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