Searsia tenuinervis (Engl.) Moffett

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Searsia tenuinervis

Photo: Lynn Read
Near Jacana Yacht Club, Lake Chivero

Searsia tenuinervis

Photo: Bart Wursten

Searsia tenuinervis

Photo: Mark Hyde
25, Trafalgar Avenue, Sentosa, Harare

Searsia tenuinervis

Photo: Mark Hyde
25, Trafalgar Avenue, Sentosa, Harare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Rhus commiphoroides Engl. & Gilg
Rhus kwebensis N. E. Br.
Rhus tenuinervis Engl. var. meikleana R. Fern. & A. Fern.
Rhus tenuinervis Engl.
Common names: Commiphora rhus (English)
Status: Native
A much-branched shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall, sometimes thorny; branches with dull-greyish rough lenticellate bark, mostly hairless except when very young. Leaves 3-foliolate with leaflets discolorous, bluish-green or dull green above, paler and generally yellowish beneath, more or less pubescent on both surfaces, rarely almost hairless; midrib and lateral veins prominent beneath; median leaflet ovate, obovate, subcircular, ovate-oblong or elliptic, 2·5–11·5 cm long, rounded or truncate at the apex; lateral leaflets oblong-ovate to subcircular, 1·5–6 cm long; margin coarsely crenate in the upper 2/3 or rarely all entire; petiole 1–3 cm long, slightly grooved, more or less hairy. Inflorescences axillary and terminal, lax, up to 15 cm long. Flowers very small, yellowish. Fruit a brownish drupe, compressed, subquadrangular or subcircular in outline, up to 5 × 7 mm, covered in fine waxy powder.
Derivation of specific name: tenuinervis: with slender veins.
Habitat: In various types of woodland sandy soils, termite mounds, rocky slopes and sometimes on riverbanks.
Flowering time:Jan - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Katanga DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Botswana distribution: N,SW,SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 490. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 31. As Rhus tenuinervis

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 583 - 584. As Rhus tenuinervis

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 40. As Rhus tenuinervis

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 388 - 389. As Rhus tenuinervis (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 254. As Rhus tenuinervis

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 122 - 123. As Rhus tenuinervis (Includes a picture).

Fernandes, R. & A. (1966). Anacardiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 599 - 600. As Rhus tenuinervis also as var. meikleana

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 71. As Rhus tenuinervis (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 17. As Rhus tenuinervis

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 22. As Rhus tenuinervis var. tenuinervis

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 128 - 129. As Rhus tenuinervis (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 23. As Rhus tenuinervis

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 38. As Rhus tenuinervis var. meikleana

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 196. As Rhus tenuinervis

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 408 - 409. As Rhus tenuinervis (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (2013). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa (Second edition) Struik, South Africa Pages 470 - 471. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Searsia tenuinervis:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Searsia tenuinervis
Flora of Malawi: Searsia tenuinervis
Flora of Mozambique: Searsia tenuinervis
Flora of Zambia: Searsia tenuinervis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Searsia tenuinervis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Searsia tenuinervis
African Plant Database: Searsia tenuinervis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Searsia tenuinervis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Searsia tenuinervis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Searsia tenuinervis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Searsia tenuinervis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Searsia tenuinervis
JSTOR Plant Science: Searsia tenuinervis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Searsia tenuinervis
Plants of the World Online: Searsia tenuinervis
Tropicos: Searsia tenuinervis
Wikipedia: Searsia tenuinervis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Searsia tenuinervis., retrieved 25 May 2024

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