Salvadora persica L.
var. persica

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Salvadora persica var. persica

Photo: Mark Hyde
North of Turgwe River, Humani Ranch

Salvadora persica var. persica

Photo: Mark Hyde
Camp by Turgwe River, Humani Ranch

Salvadora persica var. persica

Photo: Mark Hyde
Camp by Turgwe River, Humani Ranch

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

Common names: Mustard-tree (English)
Scrambling unarmed shrub or small tree. Young branches green with greyish hairs. Leaves oblong-elliptic to subcircular, 2-5 cm long, pale to mid-green, rather thick and fleshy, sometimes with gland dots seen against the light; apex with a sharp point; base running into the very short petiole. Flowers greenish-white, very small in loose branched terminal and axillary heads. Fruit ovoid 5-10 mm long, pink to red when ripe, edible with a sweet but peppery taste.
Derivation of specific name: persica: of Persia (now Iran)
Habitat: In riverine thickets, dry deciduous woodland, along pans and floodplains, often on saline soils and termite mounds.
Altitude range: Up to 1000 m
Flowering time:Jun - Sep
Worldwide distribution: Throughout tropical Africa to Namibia, Botswana and Limpopo, South Africa. Also to Egypt, Arabia and Asia as far as Sri Lanka.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Colotis amata calais (Food plant)
Eronia leda (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 13 July 2019

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 775. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 48.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 532 - 533. (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 107.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 267.

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.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 95.

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

Vickery, A.R. (1983). Salvadoraceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(1) Pages 377 - 380. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Salvadora persica var. persica:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Salvadora persica var. persica
Flora of Caprivi: Salvadora persica var. persica
Flora of Mozambique: Salvadora persica var. persica
Flora of Zambia: Salvadora persica var. persica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Salvadora persica var. persica

External websites:

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

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: Salvadora persica var. persica., retrieved 21 May 2024

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