Spermacoce filifolia (Schumach. & Thonn.) J.-P. Lebrun & Stork

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (1)

Spermacoce filifolia

Photo: Penny English
in damp grassy area near a seasonal pan, in mopane woodland, Midlands

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)

Synonyms: Borreria filifolia (Schum. & Thonn.) K. Schum.
Octodon filifolium Schum. & Thonn.
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect annual herb 15–90 cm tall with 1-several mostly hairless stems. Leaves sessile, filiform 3–10 cm; stipule sheaths long and narrow at sterile nodes c. 5 mm, with 1–2 setae mostly 3 mm long but much wider at flowering nodes 0.5–1 cm wide, with 3 short subulate setae up to c. 1 mm long. Flowers 10–50 in tight clusters up to 1.3 cm wide, supported by the stipular involucre at the terminal and 1–2 immediately lower nodes. Calyx tube 1 mm long, hairy above; lobes 8, minute, c. 0.5 mm long, more or less purplish. Corolla tube white, c. 1.5 mm long, funnel-shaped; lobes blue or purple, c. 1 mm long. Capsule with upper half purplish, more or less obovoid, c. 4 mm long, opening at the apex, densely covered with distinctive flattened white or purple hairs.
Derivation of specific name: filifolia: with very narrowly linear, filiform or thread-like leaves.
Habitat: In mixed Acacia woodland and Hyparrhenia grassland, termite mounds by dambos, road drains, etc., mostly in damp or wet places but also drier Brachystegia-Isoberlinia woodland.
Altitude range: 1120 - 1200 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Senegal to Nigeria, DRC, Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Malawi distribution: N
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Sunday 24 June 2018

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 252.

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 74.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 92.

Verdcourt, B. (1988). Rubiaceae, Part 1 Flora Zambesiaca 5(1) Page 174. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Spermacoce filifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Zambia: Spermacoce filifolia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Spermacoce filifolia

External websites:

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

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: Spermacoce filifolia.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=156750, retrieved 12 April 2024

Site software last modified: 3 April 2018 9:36pm
Terms of use