Alchornea hirtella Benth.

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Alchornea hirtella

Photo: Mark Hyde
Aberfoyle, near Canaan Village

Alchornea hirtella

Photo: Mark Hyde
Aberfoyle, near Canaan Village

Alchornea hirtella

Photo: Mark Hyde
Aberfoyle, near Canaan Village

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Synonyms: Alchornea floribunda Müll. Arg. var. glabrata Müll. Arg.
Alchornea glabrata (Müll. Arg.) Prain
Common names: Forest bead-string (English)
Status: Native
Rather spindly shrub or small tree. Bark smooth, pale grey; branches often lax, sometimes with aerial roots. Leaves alternate, elliptic-oblanceolate, 5-20 cm long, light green, single-veined from the base; young leaves reddish with short soft hairs; base with a pair of glands on the upper surface; margin irregularly and shallowly toothed; petiole up to 2 cm long, swollen at both ends. Stipules bristle-like. Flowers in terminal and axillary panicles, unisexual in different inflorescences on the same plant or on different plants. Male flowers minute, orange-yellowish, with 2 sepals, usually in terminal (rarely axillary) panicles. Female flowers greenish with red styles, in shorter more spike-like inflorescences. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule, c. 10 mm in diameter, smooth, green to brown when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: hirtella : finely and minutely hairy
Habitat: In the understorey of evergreen forest.
Altitude range: Up to 2000 m
Flowering time:Sep - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in more humid parts of tropical Africa
Malawi distribution: 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., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 431. Alchornea hirtella forma glabrata (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 4.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 21.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 252.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 173.

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 40.

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Page 152. as Alchornea hirtella forma hirtella and forma glabrata

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Pages 84 - 85.

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 73.

Other sources of information about Alchornea hirtella:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Alchornea hirtella
Flora of Mozambique: Alchornea hirtella
Flora of Zambia: Alchornea hirtella
Flora of Zimbabwe: Alchornea hirtella

External websites:

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

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: Alchornea hirtella., retrieved 22 April 2024

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