Psydrax subcordata (DC.) Bridson
  • Kew Bull. 40: 698 (1985) 


Notes: Distribution: Trop. Africa

General Description

Tree 5–15 m. tall, said to have a palm-like habit, associated with ants and often the branches hollow and swollen with access-pores present; young branches distinctly square, glabrous or pubescent. Leaf-blades oblong to ovate or sometimes broadly ovate, 9.5–22 cm. long, 4.5–16.5 cm. wide, shortly acuminate at apex, obtuse, rounded, truncate or sometimes cordate at base, glabrous or sometimes sparsely pubescent above, glabrous or pubescent on nerves or sparsely pubescent beneath, papery to subcoriaceous, dull to moderately shiny above; lateral nerves in 7–10 main pairs; tertiary nerves moderately conspicuous beneath; domatia present as hair-lined cavities in the axils of lateral and tertiary nerves; petioles 1–1.5 cm. long, glabrous or pubescent; stipules narrowly ovate to ovate, 0.4–1 cm. long (or 1.4 cm. on sapling or coppice growth), caducous. Flowers with extremely distasteful smell, 5-merous, borne in pedunculate, 80–120-flowered, dichotomous corymbose cymes; true peduncles rather short, portion above the bract usually much longer, 0.8–2(–4) cm. altogether, pubescent or glabrous; pedicels 1.5–2.5 mm. long, sparsely puberulous to pubescent; bracts connate or sometimes free, 1–4 mm. long; bracteoles free, conspicuous or inconspicuous, up to 3 mm. long. Calyx-tube ± 1 mm. long, glabrous or sometimes pubescent towards base; limb a dentate or truncate rim 0.5–1 mm. long, ciliate, puberulous inside. Corolla white or creamy yellow; tube 2–3.5 mm. long, with a ring of deflexed hairs set above mid-point inside; lobes oblong-ovate, 2.5 mm. long, 1.25–1.5 mm. wide, acute. Anthers not persistent in opened flower. Style 5–7 mm. long; stigmatic knob 1.5–2 mm. long, ribbed. Disk pubescent or sometimes glabrous. Fruit black or greyish black, wider than long, 0.6–0.8 cm. long, 0.9–1.2 cm. wide, usually rather prominent at apex; pyrenes strongly curved, 6–8 mm. long, 4.5–6 mm. wide, 3–4 mm. thick, with a groove on either side from point of attachment to centre of lateral face and with a shallow crest around apex, cartilaginous, very slightly rugulose.

Tree 5–15 m tall, with a palm-like habit, associated with ants, the branches often hollow and swollen with access pores present; young branches distinctly square in cross section, often slightly winged on the angles, glabrous to pubescent.Leaf blades 9.5–22(30) × 4.5–16.5 cm, oblong to ovate or sometimes broadly ovate, shortly acuminate at apex, obtuse to rounded or truncate to subcordate at base, glabrous or sometimes sparsely pubescent on upper surface, glabrous or pubescent on nerves or sometimes sparsely pubescent beneath, papery to subcoriaceous; lateral nerves in 7–10 main pairs; tertiary nerves moderately conspicuous beneath; domatia present as hair-lined cavities in the axils of lateral and sometimes tertiary nerves; petioles 10–15 mm long, glabrous or pubescent; stipules 4–10 mm long (or 14–18 mm long on saplings or coppice growth), narrowly ovate to ovate-caducous.Flowers with a very unpleasant smell, 5-merous, borne in 80–120-flowered, dichotomous corymbose pedunculate cymes; true peduncle rather short, the portion above the bract being longer, 0.8–2(4) cm long altogether, pubescent or glabrous; pedicels 1.5–2.5 mm long, sparsely puberulous to pubescent; bracts 1–4 mm long, in connate pairs or sometimes free; bracteoles free, inconspicuous, or conspicuous and up to 3 mm long.Calyx tube c. 1 mm long, glabrous or sometimes pubescent towards the base; limb 0.5–1 mm long, truncate to dentate, ciliate, puberulous inside.Corolla white or creamy-yellow; tube 2–3.5 mm long, with a ring of deflexed hairs set above mid-point inside; lobes 2.5 × 1.25–1.5 mm, oblong ovate, acute.Anthers not persistent in mature flowers.Style 5–7 mm long; pollen presenter 1.5–2 mm long, ribbed; disk pubescent or sometimes glabrous.Fruit 6–8 × 9–12(14) mm, usually rather prominent at apex, black or greyish-black.Pyrenes 6–8 × 4.5–6 × 3–4 mm, strongly curved, with a groove from point of attachment to the centre of the lateral face, with a shallow crest at the apex, cartilaginous, scarcely rugulose.

Morphology

habit: tree

Literature

in K.B. 40: 698 (1985); Fl. Rwanda 3: 150, fig. 44.3 (1985).

in Kew Bull. 40: 698 (1985). —Bridson & Troupin in Fl. Rwanda 3: notes nomenclaturales, corrigenda for page 150 (1985). —Bridson in F.T.E.A., Rubiaceae: 894, fig. 159 (1991). Type from the Gambia.

Distribution Map

 
  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Uganda
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Sudan
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • Zambia
  • West Tropical Africa Benin
  • Burkina
  • Gambia, The
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Cabinda
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Gabon
  • Gulf of Guinea Is.
  • Rwanda
  • Zaire

  Bibliography

  • 1 Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso. Boissiera 65: 1-391.
  • 2 Lejoy, J., Ndjele, M.-B. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Catalogue-flore des plantes vasculaires des districts de Kisangani et de la Tshopo (RD Congo). Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 30: 1-307.
  • 3 Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola. Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • 4 Figueiredo, E. (2007). The Rubiaceae of Cabinda (Angola). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 154: 455-495.
  • 5 Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • 6 Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon. Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • 7 Ruhsam, M (2005). Survey of all the Rubiaceae specimens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 8 Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo , ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
  • 9 Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 10 B. Verdcourt & D. Bridson (1991) Rubiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa 0 (0)
  • 11 Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.

 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Zambesiaca
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Zambesiaca. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
WCS higher taxonomy
  • C All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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