Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Searsia burchellii Sond. ex Engl.

Searsia burchellii

Young leaves

Family: Anacardiaceae
Full name: Searsia burchellii Sond. ex Engl.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Karoo-koeniebos, Taaibos, Blinkblaar taaibos, Kunibos, Kuniebos
English common name(s): Karoo kuni-bush, Kuni-bush
Synonym(s): Rhus burchellii Sond. ex Engl.
Rhus burchellii Sond. ex Engl. var. tricrenata Engl. fide Fl. S. Africa 19 (3:1): 82
Rhus rangeana Engl. fide Fl. S. Africa 19 (3:1): 83
Rhus undulata Jacq. var. burchellii (Sond. ex Engl.) Schönland
Rhus undulata Jacq. var. tricrenata (Engl.) R.Fern.
Status: Native
Description: Much-branched, evergreen, sometimes thorny, divaricate shrub up to 5 m high. Bark granular, grey-brown; branches and branchlets squarrose, prominently lenticellate. Leaves trifoliolate, petiolate, crowded on spurs; petiole semiterete, canaliculate above, (4-)8(-11) mm long; leaflets sessile, subcoriaceous, concolorous, olive-green, laccate, glabrous, hypostomatous; lamina cuneate, obtriangular to obcordate, base cuneate to attenuate, apex emarginate, mucronulate, rarely paucicrenulate; margin entire; venation klado-dromous, midrib slightly prominent above and below, other veins impressed, usually obscure; terminal leaflets (7-)13(-23) x (3-)7(-13) mm, lateral leaflets (5-)10(-16) x (3-)5(-10) mm. Panicles and flowers are similar to that of the previous species, S. longispina. Drupes also similar but slightly more compressed, 3.7 x 2.2 to 6.3 x 3.7 mm, width/thickness ratio ±1.7 compared to ±1.5 in S. longispina. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

Searsia burchellii is a much-branched, evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 5 m high. Bark is granular, grey brownish. Leaves are small, trifoliolate, glossy, waxy, olive green and crowded at the ends of short, spur-like branchlets. Branchlets are sometimes spine-tipped. Small cream-coloured flowers are borne in loose clusters among the leaves in autumn (April–May). Male and female flowers are borne on different plants and only female plants bear fruits. Fruits are ellipsoid, thinly fleshy, green to reddish brown, drupes, somewhat compressed and flattened, 3.7 × 2.2 to 6.3 × 3.7 mm, borne in autumn and winter (May–July). (from
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: 30 Sep 2006
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/200 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 03 Oct 2022

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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