Scandent shrub or liana, 3–25 m tall; young branches sparsely to densely covered with crisped or spreading golden to rust-coloured hairs.Leaf blades 5.5–13.5 × 3.5–6 cm, oblong-lanceolate to ovate, acuminate at apex, rounded, truncate or more frequently subcordate to cordate at base, often bullate, usually drying brown, glabrous to sparsely pubescent on upper surface, glabrescent to densely pubescent beneath; lateral nerves in 6–9 main pairs; tertiary venation finely reticulate; domatia present as tufts of hair; petioles 3–7 mm long sparsely to densely covered with crisped or patent hairs; stipules 9–13 mm long, up to 6 mm wide at base, lanceolate to ovate, gradually acuminate, pubescent outside; leaves subtending lateral branches smaller, orbicular.Flowers 5-merous, borne in 20–50-flowered pedunculate cymes; peduncles 5–15 mm long, sparsely to densely pubescent; pedicels 5–7 mm long, pubescent to densely pubescent; bracteoles 3–6 mm long, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate.Calyx tube 1 mm long, densely covered with straight or crisped hairs or occasionally glabrescent; limb 1.25–1.5 mm long, divided into teeth for one third to half its length, glabrescent to sparsely pubescent, usually ciliate.Corolla creamy-white; tube 2.25–4 mm long, with a ring of deflexed hairs just below the throat inside; lobes 2.5–4 × 1.25–2.25 mm, oblong-lanceolate to ovate, acute and thickened at apex.Anthers fully exserted but seldom reflexed.Style 5–10 mm long, glabrous; pollen presenter 1.25–2.25 mm long; disk pubescent.Fruit 7–9 × 11–14 mm, broadly oblong in outline, slightly indented at apex, glabrous to glabrescent, black when mature.Pyrene 9–11 × 6–7 mm, obovoid with ventral face flattened or hemispherical; lid-like area lying across the apex with a central crest.Seed with endosperm streaked with granules.
Scandent shrub or liane, 3–25 m. tall; young branches sparsely to densely covered with crisped or spreading golden to rust-coloured hairs. Leaf-blades usually drying brown, bullate or not, oblong-lanceolate to ovate, 5.5–13.5 cm. long, 3.5–6 cm. wide, acuminate at apex, rounded, truncate or more frequently subcordate to cordate at base, glabrous to sparsely pubescent above, glabrescent to densely pubescent beneath; lateral nerves in 6–9 main pairs; tertiary nerves finely reticulate; domatia present as tufts of hairs; petioles 3–7 mm. long, sparsely to densely covered with crisped or patent hairs; stipules lanceolate to ovate, 0.9–1.3 cm. long, up to 6 mm. wide at base, gradually acuminate, pubescent outside; leaves subtending lateral branches smaller, circular. Flowers 5-merous, borne in pedunculate 20–50-flowered cymes; peduncles 0.5–1.5 cm. long, sparsely to densely pubescent; pedicels 5–7 mm. long, pubescent to densely pubescent; bracteoles linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, 3–6 mm. long. Calyx-tube 1 mm. long, densely covered with straight or crisped hairs or occasionally glabrescent; limb 1.25–1.5 mm. long, divided into teeth for one-third to half its length, glabrescent to sparsely pubescent, usually ciliate. Corolla creamy white; tube 2.25–4 mm. long, with a ring of deflexed hairs set just below the top inside; lobes oblong-lanceolate to ovate, 2.5–4 mm. long, 1.25–2.25 mm. wide, acute and thickened at apex. Anthers fully exserted, but seldom reflexing. Style 0.5–1 cm. long, glabrous; stigmatic knob 1.25–2.25 mm. long. Disk pubescent. Fruit black when ripe, ± broadly oblong in outline, 7–9 mm. long, 1.1–1.4 cm. wide, slightly indented, glabrous or glabrescent; pyrene obovoid with ventral face flattened to hemispherical, 9–11 mm. long, 6–7 mm. wide, apex with a rhombic area lying perpendicular to the plane face containing a central ridge; point of attachment free. Figs. 131/16, 25, p. 752; 132/25, p. 754 & 162.
Mozambique Milange, Serra Tumbine, fl. 19.i.1966, Correia 473 (LISC).
Zambia Mbala Distr., Chinakila, path to Loye Flats, fl. 10.i.1965, Richards 19454 (BR; K).
Uganda Malabigambo Forest, 3.2 km. SSW. of Katera, 2 Oct. 1953, Drummond & Hemsley 4535!
Malawi Mulanje Distr., Chapaluka (Chapanuka) Stream, fl. 4.xi.1972, Leach 14939 (BR; K; PRE; SRGH).
Tanzania Marangu, Rawuya, 10 Jan. 1940, Bally 538!
Malawi Dedza Distr., Chongoni Forest, dambo below staff house at school, fr. 28.ix.1962, Adlard 491 (K; LISC; SRGH).
Uganda Lake Mutanda, May 1950, Purseglove 3391!
Zimbabwe Mutare Distr., Vumba Mts., Nimbus Farm, fl. 15.x.1959, Chase 7019 (BR; K; LISC; PRE; SRGH).
Mozambique Manica, Rotanda between Mussapa River and frontier at Tandara (?Mutambara in Zimbabwe), fl. 19.xi.1965, Torre & Correia 13143 (LISC).
Kenya Shimba Hills, Mwele Mdogo Forest, 6 Feb. 1953, Drummond & Hemsley 1138!
Kenya Kakamega Forest, near water crossing, Kidia R. on road to Kakamega saw mill, 8 Jan. 1968, Perdue & Kibuwa 9497!
Tanzania Shagayu Forest Reserve, 19 Apr. 1962, Semsei 3461!
Tanzania Sao Hill, Ipogoro–M’kawe track, 12 Dec. 1961, Richards 15557!
Malawi Chitipa Distr., Mafinga Hills (Mts.), middle slopes below Namitawa summit, fl. 3.iii.1982, Brummitt, Polhill & Banda 16285 (K).
Kenya near base of Kirima Hill, near Nyambeni Hill Tea Estate, 11 Oct. 1960, Polhill & Verdcourt 292!
Mozambique Ribáuè, Mepáluè, fl. 9.xii.1967, Torre & Correia 16430 (LISC).
Zambia Serenje Distr., Kundalila Falls, fl. 13.x.1963, E.A. Robinson 5700 (K).
Uganda Samia Bugwe county, E. boundary of West Bugwe Local Forest Reserve at S. edge of Solo [Nsolo] R., 8 Apr. 1951, G.H. Wood 371!
Zambia Ndola, fl. & fr. 1.x.1954, Fanshawe 1586 (BR; K).
Mozambique between Vila Mouzinho and Zóbuè, fr. 19.vii.1949, Barbosa & Carvalho 3680 (LISC).
in Kew Bull. 41: 970, fig. 1 A–C (1986). —K. Coates Palgrave, Trees Southern Africa, ed. 3, rev.: 16k of appendix (1988). —Bridson in F.T.E.A., Rubiaceae: 911, figs. 131/16, 25; 132/25 & 162 (1991). —Pooley, Trees of Natal, Zululand & Transkei: 478, figs. (1993). —Beentje, Kenya Trees, Shrubs Lianas: 517 (1994). TAB. 47/B3 & 72. Type from South Africa.
in K.B. 41: 970, fig. 1A–C (1986).