Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Phaeoptilum spinosum Radlk.


Phaeoptilum spinosum

Seed pod



Family: Nyctaginaceae
Full name: Phaeoptilum spinosum Radlk.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Brosdoring, Bloudoringbos, Wilde bougainvilla
English common name(s): Brittle-thorn, Winged-fruit bush
Synonym(s): Amphoranthus spinosus S.Moore
Nachtigalia protectoratus Schinz ex Engl.
Phaeoptilum heimerli Engl.
Status: Native
Description: A small shrub with woody stem furnished with numerous sharp spines reaching 0.5 in. long; branches many, running out into spines; leaves 4–5 lin. long, 0.25 lin. broad, linear-cuneate, obtuse, thick, in fascicles along the branches; perianth-tube 4 lin. long, about 5 lin. in diam. at the mouth; lobes 2 lin. long, suborbicular; staminal tube 0.5 lin. long; filaments about 0.2 in. long; fruit a 4–5-winged anthocarp 8 lin. long, 6 lin. broad, enclosed in the persistent perianth-tube. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Shrub up to 3 m tall. Branches terminating in spines with crowded, alternate, spine-like lateral branches. Bark greyish yellow to greyish brown. Leaves greyish green, 5–35 x 1–4 mm, linear-cuneiform, coriaceous, apex rounded or emarginate, glabrous to crisped pubescent. Flowers creamy yellow, scented. Perianth 6–8 mm long, densely crisped pubescent to tomentose on outside; lobes rounded to (in female flowers) triangular, slightly cucullate, curling inwards as anthocarp develops. Stamens usually 4 longer, 6–12.5 mm long and 4 shorter, 4–10 mm long; filaments filiform; anthers 0.5–2 mm long. Ovary 1.5–3.5 mm long, fusiform-elliptic; style 1.5–3.5 mm long; stigma multifid; ovule attached to one side of base of ovary. Anthocarp 15–25 x 12–20 mm (incl. wings), pubescent to glabrescent, yellowish-green turning pink, red or purple with age; wings more or less semi-circular, parchment-like; central portion fusiform; fruit 7–8 x 2.5–3 mm, oblong-elliptic in outline, square in cross section, remains of reduced stamens around base; seed more or less filling fruit cavity. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)

Shrub up to 3 m high; bark greyish yellow or greyish brown. Leaves linear, (9–)10–30(–40) × 1–4 mm long, apex rounded or emarginate, base attenuate; somewhat fleshy, coriaceous, yellow green to greygreen; glabrous to pubescent. Flowers scented; bracteate. Perianth 6–8 mm long; 4(–5)-lobed, lobes spreading, ovate, rounded to triangular at the tips, tomentose, greenish yellow to pale yellow. Stamens 8(9), of different lengths, longer stamens 6–12.5 mm long, slightly exserted; shorter stamens 4–10 mm long; filaments filiform; anthers oblong-elliptic, 0.5–2
mm long. Ovary fusiform-elliptic; style 1.5–3.5 mm long; stigma truncate or penicillate. Fruit 7–8 × 2.5–3 mm, oblong-elliptic. Anthocarp 15–25 × 12–20 mm; central portion fusiform; broadly 4(5)-winged, wings semi-circular; pubescent to glabrescent, pink, red or purple maturing brown. (from Nyctaginaceae: A taxonomic treatment for the Flora of Namibia, Struwig et al., Phytotaxa 238 (2), pp. 101–135, 2015)
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: 19 Dec 2007
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/800 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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