Dalbergia nitidula Welw. ex Baker

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Dalbergia nitidula

Photo: Bart Wursten
Bushman's Point, Lake Chivero RP

Dalbergia nitidula

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr col, Domboshawa

Dalbergia nitidula

Photo: Bart Wursten
Christon Bank

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Synonyms: Dalbergia dekindtiana Harms
Dalbergia mossambicensis Harms
Dalbergia swynnertonii Baker f.
Common names: Glossy flat-bean (English) Purple-wood dalbergia (English)
Status: Native
Deciduous shrub or small tree. The leaves are pinnate, up to 20 cm long, with 4 to 7 subopposite pairs and a terminal leaflet. Flowers produced in branched heads before or with the new leaves, sweetly scented, white. The pods are flat and thin, normally glabrous but sometimes finely pubescent.
Notes: Trees are often seen with clusters of characteristic galls on the smaller branches. These can be mistaken for fruits but are caused by a parasitising insect.
Derivation of specific name: nitidula: somewhat shiny
Habitat: In various types of woodland and wooded grassland, often on kopjes and among rocks.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Aug - Sep
Worldwide distribution: Angola, DRC, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Charaxes etesipe tavetensis (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Brummitt, R.K., Harder, D.K., Lewis, G.P., Lock, J.M., Polhill, R.M. & Verdcourt, B. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(3) Pages 64 - 68. (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 298. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 20.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 387. (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 67.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 219.

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 90 - 91. (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 47.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 59.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 202 - 203. (Includes a picture).

Smith, P. & Allen, Q. (2004). Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of the Miombo Woodlands Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 1 84246 073 0 Pages 118 - 119. (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 97.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 454 - 455. (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (2013). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa (Second edition) Struik, South Africa Pages 530 - 531. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 94.

Other sources of information about Dalbergia nitidula:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Dalbergia nitidula
Flora of Mozambique: Dalbergia nitidula
Flora of Zambia: Dalbergia nitidula
Flora of Zimbabwe: Dalbergia nitidula

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Dalbergia nitidula.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=131080, retrieved 16 April 2024

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