Strychnos pungens Soler.

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Strychnos pungens

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road to Hwange NP, Main Camp.

Strychnos pungens

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road to Hwange NP, Main Camp.

Strychnos pungens

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road to Hwange NP, Main Camp.

Strychnos pungens

Photo: Bart Wursten
By road to Hwange NP, Main Camp.

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

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

Common names: Spiny-leaved monkey-orange (English)
Status: Native
Small, deciduous to sometimes evergreen tree. Bark grey to brown, rough and flaking in to squares lower on older trunks, grey and smooth higher up and on younger trees; branches corky and with swollen nodes and conspicuous lenticels. Leaves opposite, 3-veined from (near) the base, narrowly elliptic, 3-8 cm long, rigid or leathery, hairless with a hard, spiny apical point; margin entire; petiole thick, up to 4 mm long. Inflorescences in tight, axillary clusters, c. 2 cm wide; flowers greenish-white, up to 9 mm long. Fruit up to 12 cm in diameter, with a hard, woody shell, bluish-green, yellow when ripe, edible but less tasty than of other species.
Derivation of specific name: pungens: prickly, referring to the leaf tips
Habitat: In woodland, often in rocky places and also on kalahari sand.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:October
Worldwide distribution: Tropical Africa to Botswana and Limpopo, North-West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Malawi distribution: C
Growth form(s):
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 783. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 34.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 536 - 537. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 268.

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (1983). Loganiaceae (inc. Buddlejaceae) Flora Zambesiaca 7(1) Page 371.

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 58.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 108.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 68. (Possibly this name is in error and actually refers to S. madagascariensis)

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 217.

Other sources of information about Strychnos pungens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Caprivi: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Mozambique: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Zambia: Strychnos pungens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Strychnos pungens

External websites:

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

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: Strychnos pungens., retrieved 13 April 2024

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