Plants photographed elsewhere in Namibia (not on Kyffhäuser)
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Tapinanthus oleifolius (J.C.Wendl.) Danser

Tapinanthus oleifolius

Leaves + developing flowers

Family: Loranthaceae
Full name: Tapinanthus oleifolius (J.C.Wendl.) Danser
Location: Welwitchia Plains (2214DB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Voëlent, Vuurhoutjies, Vuurhoutjiesvoëlent, Tee
English common name(s): Mistletoe, Lighted matches, Lighted candles, Bird lime, Namnambush
Synonym(s): Lichtensteinia oleifolia J.C.Wendl.
Lichtensteinia speciosa (F.Dietr.) Tiegh.
Loranthus bumbensis Hiern
Loranthus meyeri C.Presl
Loranthus meyeri C.Presl var. inachabensis Engl.
Loranthus namaquensis Harv.
Loranthus namaquensis Harv. var. ligustrifolius Engl.
Loranthus oleifolius (J.C.Wendl.) Cham. & Schltdl.
Loranthus oleifolius (J.C.Wendl.) Cham. & Schltdl. var. luteus Neusser
Loranthus quinquangulus Engl. & Schinz
Loranthus quinquangulus Engl. & Schinz var. pedicellatus Sprague
Loranthus speciosus F.Dietr.
Loranthus zambesicus Gibbs
Scurrula oleifolia (J.C.Wendl.) G.Don
Tapinanthus namaquensis (Harv.) Tiegh.
Tapinanthus quinquangulus (Engl. & Schinz) Danser
Status: Native
Description: Moderately large shrubs up to 1 m or more high. Stems puberulent when young, glabrate with age, often buff or brownish. Leaves subopposite to alternate (scattered), mostly ovate-elliptic but highly variable, 30-45 x 10-20 mm, coriaceous; petioles c. 3 mm long to subsessile. Inflorescence: umbels mostly axillary, solitary, 3-4-flowered, minutely puberulent; peduncles from absent up to 2 mm long and approximately equalling the pedicels. Corolla with conspicuous basal swelling, 35-40 mm long, tube split 10-12 mm below lobes, dull pink with whitish, irregular variegations, lightly puberulent, light green at apex and base; lobes reflexed. Filaments with small tooth below anther. Style constricted below stigma. Berries ellipsoid, 10-12 mm long, reddish orange. Flowering probably throughout the year; n=9. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

Parasitic shrub. Leaves mostly opposite, leathery, dull green to glaucous lanceolate to ovate-elliptic. Flowers in axillary few-flowered umbels; corolla tube red with whitish spots; heads of buds yellowish to greenish-white, darkening when mature. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

This secretive, plant has an epiphytic habit. It only discloses its presence by the fallen flowers and fruits found on the ground. It is often overlooked in trees as it blends in well with the leaves of the tree itself. It is best observed in winter when trees have few or no leaves. It is a tall shrub up to 1 m high with a smooth, grey to brownish and densely, but inconspicuously lenticellate stem. Leaves are mostly opposite and with a wide variation in size (Polhill & Wiens 1988). The petiole (leaf stalk) is 2-13 mm long to almost absent. The inflorescence consists of one to several flowered umbels ; the peduncle (inflorescence stalk) is 1-4 mm long and the pedicel (flower stalk) is 0.5-2.0 mm long. The corolla-tube is 35-45 mm long, red with whitish spots, head of buds yellowish or greenish white, darkening, constricted 3-5 mm above and the lobes are 9-10 mm long. The stamens are red, anthers 2.5-3.0 mm long. The fruit is a berry, ellipsoid, 8-9 x 5-7 mm, smooth and red with a short, persistent red, hairless calyx. (from website)

Stems spreading to 1 m or so, generally puberulous at first, glabrescent, grey to brownish, densely but inconspicuously lenticellate. Leaves mostly opposite; petiole 2–13 mm long; lamina coriaceous, dull green to glaucous, 3–9 × 0.8–5(7) cm, lanceolate to ovate-elliptic or ovate, subacute to rounded at apex, cuneate to rounded at base, generally glabrous, with 4–8 pairs of lateral nerves, the middle ones rather more ascending. Umbels 1–several per axil, (2)4-flowered, puberulous; peduncle 1–2(4) mm long; pedicels 0.5–2 mm long; bract 2–2.5 mm long, shallowly cupular, with a small triangular limb. Receptacle 1.5–2 mm long; calyx 1–1.5 mm long, saucer-shaped, truncate to slightly toothed, puberulous. Corolla tube 3.5–4.5 cm long, red with whitish spots, head of buds yellowish- or greenish-white, darkening, puberulent with short spreading hairs up to 0.2 mm long; bud heads 3.5–5 × 2.5–3 mm, oblong-ellipsoid to oblong-obovoid, rounded, sometimes slightly apiculate, somewhat angular and sometimes slightly ribbed; basal swelling 4.5–6 × 3.5–5 mm, ovoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, tube constricted for 3–5 mm above; lobes 9–10 mm long, reflexed, the upper expanded part 4–5 × 1.5 mm. Stamen filaments red; tooth 0.7–0.8 mm long; anthers 2.5–3 mm long. Style with neck 2.5–3 mm long; stigma 0.7–0.8 mm across, capitate. Berry red, 8–9 × 5–7 mm, ellipsoid, with short persistent calyx, glabrescent. (from Kew eFloras website / Flora Zambesiaca)

Corolla lobes reflexed (not erect or spreading), corolla hairy, leaves distinctly petiolate, corolla puberulous with short spreading hairs up to 0.2 mm long, the tube red with whitish spots. (from Kew eFloras website, Flora Zambesiaca keys)
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: 20 Sep 2013
Camera make: Panasonic
Camera model: DMC-FZ45
Lens aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/400 s
ISO speed: 100
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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