Calodendrum capense (L.f.) Thunb.

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Calodendrum capense

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp site

Calodendrum capense

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp site

Calodendrum capense

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp site

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

Synonyms: Dictamnus capensis L.f.
Common names: Cape chestnut (English)
Status: Native
Small to large tree. Younger branches armed with robust spines up to 2 cm long. Leaves simple, opposite, more or less broadly elliptic, up to 22 cm long, hairless when mature, translucent gland-dots present, aromatic when crushed, margin entire and wavy. Flowers in dense axillary heads, large and showy; petals narrowly oblanceolate, pale to deep pink, darker purple at the base; staminodes longer than the petals, dotted with crimson glands. Fruit a 5-lobed capsule up to 3.5 cm in diameter, covered in tubercles, yellow-green when young to brown and woody when ripe, dehiscing from the base, valves remaining connected to the stalk at the apex.
Derivation of specific name: capense: of the Cape
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Oct - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa as far as the Western Cape.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Papilio demodocus demodocus (Food plant)
Papilio nireus lyaeus (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 7.

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 396 - 398. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 248.

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 75.

Mendonça, F. A. (1963). Rutaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(1) Pages 181 - 183. (Includes a picture).

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 28.

Other sources of information about Calodendrum capense:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Calodendrum capense
Flora of Zimbabwe: Calodendrum capense
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Calodendrum capense

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Calodendrum capense., retrieved 17 July 2018

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