Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Elephantorrhiza suffruticosa Schinz


Elephantorrhiza suffruticosa

Seed pods



Family: Fabaceae
Full name: Elephantorrhiza suffruticosa Schinz
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Looiwortel, Looiwortelbos, Basbos, Looibos, Skeweblaar-basboontjie
English common name(s): Skew-leaved elephant-root, Edgevein elephantroot, Skew-leaved sumach bean
Synonym(s): -
Status: Native
Description: Deciduous shrub, rarely a small multi-stemmed tree, 1-4 m tall. Leaves very finely bipinnate with up to 31 pairs of pinnae, each with with up to 50 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets very small, up to 5 mm long, very asymmetric with midrib running along the inner edge of the leaflet. Flowers in dense axillary spikes, normally appearing with the new leaves, creamy yellow. Pod flattened, up to 28 cm long, reddish-brown, raised over the seeds, breaking away from the persistent margins. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

A branched shrub or small tree 1-5 m high; bark grey-brown to dark- or reddish-brown; young branchlets glabrous or sometimes puberulous to shortly pubescent. Leaves glabrous to puberulous or shortly pubescent: petiole (0.6)1.5-3.5 cm long; rhachis (0.5)10-17(25.4) cm long; pinnae (2)15-27(42) opposite or subopposite pairs; rhachillae (1.4)2-3.5(6.8) cm long; leaflets (17)27-40(50) pairs per pinna, 3-7.5 X 0.5-1.2 mm, linear-oblong to linear, rarely almost falcate, midrib marginal throughout, proximal side rounded basally, apex asymmetric, obtuse to acute, often mucronate, lateral nerves and veins not or scarcely visible, glabrous or sometimes sparingly pubescent on the margins. Racemes axillary, solitary or 2-3 together, or borne on lateral shoots, (4)6-14(18) cm long (including the peduncle), pubescent or sometimes glabrous. Flowers yellowish-white, on pedicels up to 1 mm long, pedicels articulated near the middle, with minute reddish or reddish-brown glands at the base of the pedicels. Calyx cupular, up to 1 mm long, shortly 5-toothed, glabrous or sometimes very sparingly pubescent. Petals shortly united basally, 3-... (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

Shrub 1-6 m high, deciduous; bark similar to that of E. goetzei; young branchlets glabrous, or sometimes puberulous to shortly pubescent. Leaves up to 27 cm long (rhachis + petiole); rhachides usually with a little pubescence on the upper side, sometimes beneath as well; pinnae (2)15-31 pairs; leaflets (19)30-50 pairs per pinna, 5-6 x 0.4-1.2 mm, linear-oblong to linear, glabrous, proximal side of the base rounded; midrib marginal throughout; apex asymmetric, varying from obtuse to acute, often mucronate; lateral nerves and veins not or scarcely visible. Racemes 4-18 cm long (including the peduncle), often pubescent, sometimes glabrous; minute reddish or reddish-brown mealy glands present round the pedicel-bases. Inflorescence usually said to be cream-coloured but described as golden-yellow in one gathering. Petals 3-3.75 mm long. Pods 13-27.5 x 2-2.25 cm, linear-oblong to linear. Seeds c. 14 x 11 x 5 mm (only one measured, perhaps not mature), roughly ellipsoid. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)
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
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 18 Mar 2007
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/500 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 01 Jun 2020


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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