Plants photographed elsewhere in Namibia (not on Kyffhäuser)
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Boscia albitrunca (Burch.) Gilg & Benedict

Boscia albitrunca


Family: Capparaceae
Full name: Boscia albitrunca (Burch.) Gilg & Benedict
Location: Between Aus and Helmeringhausen (2616BC)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Witgat, Witstamboom, Groot-Witgat, Grootwitgat, Grootwitgatboom, Witbasboom, Witgatboom, Witstam, Witteboom, Jentelmanstam, Kaboom, Koffie, Koffieboom, Matoppie, Noenie, Noenieboom
English common name(s): Shepherd tree, Shepherds tree, Shepherd's tree, Caper bush, Coffee tree, Emigrants tree, White stem, White-stemmed tree, Whitetrunk sheperdstree
Synonym(s): Boscia pechuellii Kuntze
Boscia puberula Pax fide Fl. S. Africa 13: 153
Boscia transvaalensis Pestal.
Capparis albitrunca Burch.
Capparis oleoides auct. - sensu Marloth-- misapplied name
Capparis punctata Burch.
Status: Native
Description: Small to medium-sized tree with a typically whitish bark and a rounded crown. Leaves mostly clustered on hard woody spurs along the branches, oblanceolate to elliptic, grey-green; veining almost invisible. Flowers axillary in dense branched clusters, small, without petals, greenish, sweetly scented. Fruit round, c. 10 mm in diameter, hairless, yellow when ripe. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Tree or rarely a shrub, up to 7 m high, usually with well-trimmed round or flattened crown. Branches sometimes drooping when young becoming stiff, usually not spinescent. Leaves usually fascicled rarely alternate to subopposite; lamina oblanceolate, elliptic or linear, usually obtuse or abruptly tapering at the apex, mucronulate, usually broadly cuneate at the base, 1.5-5(-8) cm long, 0.3-2.5 cm broad, coriaceous, grey-green, secondary veins hardly visible on both sides, pubescent or glabrous; petiole 0.2-1 cm long, usually pubescent. Sclereids in the mesophyll with poorly differentiated foot, bent or often of irregular shape, rarely reaching the middle of the leaf, often in clusters, usually similarly well developed on both sides of the leaf. Inflorescence axillary, racemose, often with flowers fascicled or almost so; pedicel 0.4-1 cm long, pubescent or glabrous. Bracts setaceous, sometimes trifid, usually pubescent. Sepals elliptic to ovate, 2-3 mm long, pubescent particularly on the margin. Corona a fleshy -ring, denticulate. Stamens 6-15; filaments 3-5 mm long, glabrous. Gynophore 2-3 mm long, glabrous. Ovary ovoid with 8 ovules, with indistinct stigma on style c. 1 mm long. Berry spherical or almost so, 0.5-1.2 cm in diameter, smooth, glabrous, yellow, with 1 or 2 seeds with colliculate surface. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

Much-branched tree up to 10 m tall; crown dense and rounded; bark smooth and whitish; trunk stout. Leaves alternate or fascicled 2–4 together on very reduced side-shoots; lamina 3–5 x 0.7–1.2 cm, coriaceous, oblanceolate or narrowly oblong, apex rounded or retuse or very rarely acute, mucronate, narrowed to a cuneate or narrowly rounded base, puberulous on both sides or glabrescent, midrib prominent beneath, nervation scarcely visible; petiole 1–3 mm long, puberulous. Inflorescence of very short, dense, axillary racemes; peduncle almost 0, rachis pubescent; bracteoles 1.5 mm long, filamentous, pubescent, trifid with the middle lobe longest; pedicels up to 5 mm long, pubescent. Sepals 4 x 2.5–3 mm, ovate-oblong, apex subacute, very minutely puberulous outside, pubescent within, densely so at the margins; receptacle disk-like, papillose-fimbriate. Stamens 6–14, on glabrous filaments c. 5 mm long. Gynophore c. 3 mm long, glabrous; ovary ovoid, glabrous, with c. 10 ovules on 2 placentas; style 0.5 mm long, glabrous; stigma subcapitate, scarcely wider than the style. Fruit up to 1 cm in diam., globose, yellowish, glabrous, smooth. Seed usually single, c. 0.7 cm in diam., subglobose, rugose. (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: 25 Sep 2006
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/1000 s
ISO speed: -
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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Last updated 18 Apr 2024

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