Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Cryptolepis decidua (Planch. ex Hook.f. & Benth.) N.E.Br.

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Cryptolepis decidua

Image 1
01 Mar 2009

Cryptolepis decidua

Image 2
Green fruit pods
18 Mar 2007

Cryptolepis decidua

Image 3
Dried fruit pods
19 Dec 2007

Cryptolepis decidua

Image 4
Ripe fruit pods
21 Mar 2008

Cryptolepis decidua

Image 5
White, milky sap
23 Mar 2008

Cryptolepis decidua

Image 6
Reddish-brown young
branches and leaves
27 May 2006

Family: Apocynaceae
Full name: Cryptolepis decidua (Planch. ex Hook.f. & Benth.) N.E.Br.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Bokhorinkie, Jakkalsbos
English common name(s): Horn shrub
Synonym(s): Cryptolepis decidua (Planch. ex Benth.) N.E.Br. accepted by FSA
Curroria decidua Planch. ex Benth. subsp. decidua
Cryptolepis macrophylla (Radcl.-Sm.) Venter (for tropical Africa)
Status: Native
Description: A shrub with straight slender branches, having a pale grey (glaucous ?) bark and rather distant nodes, from which arise short, and proportionately stout lateral shoots 0.125– 0.25 in. long, bearing leaves and flowers. Leaves subfasciculate on the lateral shoots, 0.75–1 in. long, 1–2 lin. broad, linear or linear-spathulate, obtuse or subacute, gradually narrowing to the base, subsessile, glabrous. Flowers solitary in the axils of the leaves, one or two (or more ?) in each tuft of leaves; pedicels 3–7.5 lin. long, bracteate at about the middle, slender, glabrous. Sepals 1 lin. long, lanceolate, acuminate. Corolla-tube campanulate, 1 lin. long; lobes lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 3 lin. long, twisted in the bud, glabrous. Coronal-lobes arising from the middle of the corolla-tube, 1.5–2 lin. long, filiform or subulate. Anthers connivent, acuminate. Style shorter than the anthers, conical at the apex. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Tropical Africa)

A suffrutescent dwarf-shrub. Stems woody, erect, branching, 0.5–1.0 m high, up to 5 mm diameter; older stems grey to pale brown, smooth, glabrous; young stems dark reddish-brown, smooth, glabrous; interpetiolar ridges villous, with dentate colleters, inconspicuous on younger branches, absent on older branches, branchlets often contracted. Leaves opposite or fascicled, axils villous, sub-sessile to petiolate; petiole green, glabrous, slightly grooved, 0.5–2.0 mm long; blade oblong, occasionally oblong-elliptic or oblong-obovate, 9–45 x 1–6 mm, slightly succulent, smooth, glabrous, light green above and beneath, occasionally with purple spots on both surfaces; apex obtuse to acute, occasionally emarginate, mucronulate to mucronate, villous, not recurved; base cuneate, occasionally obtuse; secondary and tertiary venation not visible. Flowers single on contracted branchlets; pedicels 5–10(–18.5) mm long; bracts absent or 1–2 per pedicel, opposite or spirally arranged, acicular, 0.5–1.0 mm long, fimbriate with long silky trichomes. Buds oblong-ovoid, acute, slightly turned to half-turn helically twisted. Sepals oblong-ovate, 0.5–2.0(–2.5) x 0.5–1.0 mm, acute, margin fimbriate with long silky trichomes, trichomes at inner bases. Corolla violet, 8.5–11.5 mm long; tube shortly campanulate, (2.0–)2.5–3.0 mm long, glabrous; lobes spreading, linear-oblong, 6.0–8.5 x 1 mm, apices obtuse. Corona single, inserted at lower third of corolla tube, slightly exserted, lobes filiform, simple, occasionally bifid, 2–3 mm long. Stamens inserted at lower quarter to fifth of corolla tube; anthers triangular, acute, glabrous, 0.7–1.0 mm long. Ovaries 0.3–0.8 mm long; style ± 0.3 mm long, style-head obtuse to acutely bifid, 0.7–1.0 x 0.6–1.0 mm. Follicles erect, widely divaricate to horizontal at 110°–180°, narrowly ovoid, (25–)48–65 x 3–10 mm, apices attenuate, bases cuneate, light brown, finely ribbed. Seeds oblong to broadly elliptic, 3–6 x 1–2 mm, light to dark brown, slightly warty; coma white to yellowish-white, 11–20 mm long. (from M.Sc thesis of L. Joubert, "A TAXONOMIC STUDY OF CRYPTOLEPIS (APOCYNACEAE) IN SOUTHERN AFRICA", University of the Free State)

C. decidua is a dwarf-shrub. The leaves are usually oblong with obtuse to acute apices, small to medium sized, 9–45 x 1–6 mm, and slightly succulent. The flowers are solitary on contracted lateral branchlets, with pedicels 5–10 mm long. The corolla is violet and 8.5–11.5 mm long. The corona is filiform and slightly exserted. Follicles are erect, widely divaricate to horizontal, at 110°–180°, narrowly ovoid, 48–65 x 3–10 mm, apices attenuate. (from M.Sc thesis of L. Joubert, "A TAXONOMIC STUDY OF CRYPTOLEPIS (APOCYNACEAE) IN SOUTHERN AFRICA", University of the Free State)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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