Adenia spinosa Burtt Davy

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Adenia spinosa

Photo: Jean-Pierre Félu
Hwali R. bridge, Machuchuta CL

Adenia spinosa

Photo: Jean-Pierre Félu
Hwali R. bridge, Machuchuta CL

Adenia spinosa

Photo: Petra Ballings
Hwali River bridge

Adenia spinosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Hwali River bridge

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

Common names: Elephant's foot (English) Spiny greenstem (English)
Scrambling deciduous shrub. A tangled mass of thin branches arise from a grotesque succulent, bulbous stem, up to 1.5 m in diameter. Branches armed with blunt spines, which may function as tendrils. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate to elliptic with conspicuous venation, grey-green above, paler below; margin entire or lobed. Flowers unisexual on separate plants, axillary, creamy yellow, male flowers usually in denser clusters than female flowers. Fruit an oval segmented capsule, yellowish green.
Derivation of specific name: spinosa: spiny
Flowering time:Jul - Jan
Worldwide distribution:
Botswana distribution:
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 262.

Fernandes, R. & A. (1978). Passifloraceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 390 - 391.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 168.

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 66.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 91.

Other sources of information about Adenia spinosa:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: Adenia spinosa

External websites:

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

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: Adenia spinosa., retrieved 28 May 2024

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