Xylopia gracilipes D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray in Burrows et al., Trees and Shrubs of Mozambique, Taxonomic Notes, 1035-1039, fig. 2, 2018.

Johnson, David M. & Murray, Nancy A., 2018, A revision of Xylopia L. (Annonaceae): the species of Tropical Africa, PhytoKeys 97, pp. 1-252 : 93-99

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Xylopia gracilipes D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray in Burrows et al., Trees and Shrubs of Mozambique, Taxonomic Notes, 1035-1039, fig. 2, 2018.


16. Xylopia gracilipes D. M. Johnson & N. A. Murray in Burrows et al., Trees and Shrubs of Mozambique, Taxonomic Notes, 1035-1039, fig. 2, 2018. Figs 4F View Figure 4 , 25A-L View Figure 25


MOZAMBIQUE. Zambézia Province, Altomolócuè, Gilé, ao km 10, monte Gilé (Ig), 300 m, 21 Dec 1967, A. R. Torre & Correia 16681 (holotype: WAG) .


Tree up to 20 m tall or occasionally a shrub to 5 m, d.b.h. up to 20 cm, clear bole up to 4 m, sometimes ribbed, branches horizontal; bark light gray, sometimes mottled, smooth or flaking. Twigs reddish brown to brownish black, pubescent, the hairs 0.2-1.2 mm long, becoming gray to brown, glabrate, cross-cracked; nodes occasionally with two axillary branches. Leaf with larger blades 3.3-9.7 cm long, 1.7-4.1 cm wide, chartaceous to subcoriaceous, slightly discolorous, (narrowly) oblong to elliptic, occasionally lanceolate, elliptic-oblanceolate, or obovate, apex broadly acute, obtuse, or rounded, occasionally emarginate or acuminate with a broad acumen 1.5-7 mm long, base cuneate to obliquely rounded, rarely with some leaves on a specimen truncate, sparsely pubescent or with hairs restricted to the midrib adaxially, appressed-pubescent abaxially; midrib plane to slightly raised adaxially, raised abaxially, secondary veins weakly brochidodromous, 7-14 per side, diverging at 45-75° from the midrib, slightly raised on both surfaces, higher-order veins slightly raised on both surfaces but vein reticulum often more prominent adaxially; petiole 3.5-9.5 mm long, semi-terete or flattened to shallowly canaliculate, densely pubescent. Inflorescences axillary, 1-4-flowered; pedicels arising separately from axil, rarely 2 from a common peduncle, pubescent; peduncle, if present, 0.7-2.1 mm long; pedicels 2.7-8.5 mm long, 0.3-1.0 mm thick; bracts 2, usually one to either side of the midpoint, caducous to somewhat persistent, 1.3-1.6 mm long, ovate, apex obtuse; buds linear to lanceolate, straight to falciform, apex acute to obtuse. Sepals erect to slightly spreading at anthesis, 1/4-1/2-connate, 1.1-2.5 mm long, 1.8-3.0 mm wide, coriaceous, triangular to broadly ovate, apex acute, pubescent abaxially. Petals pale green or yellow in vivo; outer petals somewhat spreading at anthesis, 9.5-18.1 mm long, 2.5-3.0 mm wide at base, 0.8-1.8 mm wide at midpoint, coriaceous, linear to linear-lanceolate, attenuate, apex obtuse, channelled adaxially, keeled abaxially, gray-puberulent except for glabrous base adaxially, yellow-brown pubescent abaxially; inner petals curved outward to weakly geniculate at anthesis, 6.1-15.3 mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide at base, 0.4-1.1 mm wide at midpoint, coriaceous, linear-subulate, apex acute, base with undifferentiated margin, keeled on both surfaces, densely gray-puberulent on both surfaces except for glabrous base. Stamens ca. 120; fertile stamens 1.0-1.4 mm long, narrowly oblong, apex of connective 0.1-0.2 mm long, shieldlike, overhanging the anther thecae, glabrous, anthers ca. 9-locellate, filament 0.3-0.4 mm long; outer staminodes 0.9-1.3 mm long, oblong, apex irregularly truncate to rounded; inner staminodes 0.9-1.1 mm long, oblong to clavate, apex rounded; staminal cone 1.1-1.9 mm in diameter, 0.6-1.2 mm high, concealing only the bases of the ovaries, rim even or laciniate. Carpels 8-9; ovaries 0.8-1.1 mm long, narrowly oblong, ascending-pilose; stigmas more or less connivent, 1.6-3.3 mm long, linear, with a tuft of yellow hairs at the apex. Torus shallowly concave beneath ovaries, 1.5-2.7 mm in diameter. Fruit of up to 10 sparsely pubescent to glabrate monocarps borne on a pedicel 4.9-8.5 mm long, 2.2-4.8 mm thick, glabrate; torus 3.4-7.5 mm in diameter, 3.8-6.8 mm high, ovoid. Monocarps green with light green endocarp in vivo, 2.8-5.0 cm long, 0.8-1.1 cm wide, 0.8-0.9 cm thick, oblong, often irregularly torulose, apex obtuse with a broad blunt beak 2-3 mm long, base contracted into a stipe 4-11 mm long, 2-4.5 mm thick, obliquely wrinkled, verrucose, occasionally a little glaucous; pericarp ca. 0.4 mm thick. Seeds up to 5 per monocarp, in a single row, lying oblique to long axis, 9-12.2 mm long, 6.5-7.7 mm wide, 5.1-6.1 mm thick, ellipsoid, elliptic to semicircular in cross-section, narrowed and truncate at micropylar end, rounded at chalazal end, brown, smooth, dull, raphe/antiraphe not evident, micropylar scar 1.5-2.7 mm long, 1.0-2.3 mm wide, oblong; sarcotesta orange to red in vivo; aril absent.


Specimens with flowers have been collected in August and from October to February, and with fruits from January to March, and in May, October, November, and December. The specimens with flowers or fruits from outside of the October to February period are all from South Africa.


(Fig. 26 View Figure 26 ). Occurs from Tanzania south of the Rufiji River through Mozambique, where it is widespread, and then southwestward to eastern Zimbabwe and northeastern South Africa, in open miombo or other deciduous woodland, on rocky, sandy, or clay soils, at elevations of 40-1000 m. Associates include Albizia adianthifolia , Bosqueia phoberos , Catha edulis , Khaya nyasica , Lecomtodoxa henriquezii , and Monanthotaxis chasei , as well as species of Afzelia , Baphia , Bauhinia , Brachystegia , Dalbergia , Diospyros , Kigelia , Sclerocarya , and Sterculia . The species also occurs in an evergreen forest area of particularly high rainfall in eastern Zimbabwe, where the forest is described by Farrell (1960) as having a 100 ft (ca. 30 m) canopy layer, a 50 ft (ca.15 m) understory layer, and a shrub layer.

Local names.

Garangerere ( Simão 946), lòmué (Murroutho tôco-tôco, Andrada 1898), mugaranjerere (Chindao, Gomes Pedro 4224, 4394), mukáramo ( D’Hondt 686), mulalabungo (Fidalgo de Carvalho 685), murikiriki ( D’Hondt 686), murrouthonambuadji (Barbosa & Carvalho 2911), nionjono ( D’Hondt 686), sangué (Torre & Correia 14168), sânguè (Namae, Andrada 1529,) tongolo (Tongo, Lamont 27984).

Additional specimens examined.

TANZANIA. Lindi: Lindi-Bezirk, Lutambasee, 240 m, 1 Nov 1934 (fl), Schlieben 5571 (BM, K, MO, P, PRE, US).-Mtwara: Mtwara District, 4.5 km S of Siwani Village on road from Mtwara to Maharunga and Rovuma R. mouth, 6 Nov 1978 (fl, fr), Magogo & Innes RRI 471 (EA, K, NHT). ZIMBABWE. Umtali District, Burma farm, Burma Valley, 30 Dec 1959 (fr), Chase 7238 (BM-2 sheets, MO); Chipinge [ “Chipinga”] District, Upungura [Upungura Forest, in a Kloof at 2500-3000 ft. on the escarpment above Dumisayi], Feb 1960 (fr), Farrell 202 (MO); Chipinga District, Craigmore Farm, on the Nyagadza River W of Chirinda, 2800 ft, Oct 1968 (fl, fr), Goldsmith 159/68 (B, EA, MO, WAG-2 sheets); Melsetter District, forest on banks of lower Timbiri River, 14 Feb 1958 (st), Hall 469 (BM); Chipinga District, 2032 D1, ca. 4 km NE Musirizwe/Bwazi River confluence, ca. 540 m, 28 Jan 1975 (st), Pope et al. 1389 (MO, PRE); Melsetter District, Haroni River, 4 Dec 1965 (fl, fr), Wild et al. 6651 (BM). MOZAMBIQUE. Cabo Delgado or Niassa: Distrito de Metoro, Namacuto, 30 Jan 1984 (fl), Groenendijk et al. 856 (DSM, LMA-photo, MO, WAG).- Manica: Revue, 1 Oct 1946 (yg fr), Simão 946 (LMA-photo); Spungabera, próx. da Missão Católica, 14 Nov 1943 (fl), Torre 6192 (EA, LMA-photo, WAG); Dombe, entre Javera e Machire, a 6 km de Javera, 24 Oct 1953 (bud, fr), Gomes Pedro 4394 (BR); Spungabera, próx. da Missão Católica, 14 Nov 1943 (fl), Torre 6192 (EA, WAG); Moribane, entre Moribane e Sanguene, a 5 km de Moribane, 5 Oct 1953 (buds), Gomes Pedro 4224 (PRE); Dombe, picada Serração Braunstaine-Machango (Machonga), a ca. 7 km de Serração, 26 Feb 1965 (fl), Pereira & Marques 909 (LMA-photo).- Nampula: Prox. Serra Chinga, Estrada de Ribáuè, a ca. 28 km deste Poroação, 22 Oct 1968 (fl), Aguiar Macedo 3716 (LMA-photo); Ribáuè-Namina, perto de Ribáuè, 21 Oct 1982 (buds), D’Hondt 686 (LMA-photo); Monapo, andados 7 km de Itoculo para Nacala, (Ke), 4 Dec 1963 (fl), Torre & Paiva 9413 (EA, K).- Sofala: Gorongoza, Estrada de Vila Paiva de Andrada, a mais ou menos 5.5 km a cima cruz, Pávua, 22 Nov 1965 (fr), Aguiar Macedo & Balsinhas 1510 (LMA-photo); Búzi, Reserva Florestal do Mucheve ( Talhões de ensaio), 28 Oct 1963 (fl, fr), Fidalgo de Carvalho 685 (MO); 40 km N of Dondo towards Muanza, Beira region, 10 May 1998 (fr), Lötter 261 (LYD-photo); 50 km N of Dondo, Beira region, 11 May 1998 (fr), Lötter 269 (LYD-photo); between Muanza and Chinizua, 13 May 1998 (fr), Lötter 284 (LYD-photo); Chissadze (Cheringoma), 29 Jun 1947, Simão 1326 (LMA-photo); Beira District, Gorongosa National Park, western park limits, Missicadzi track, Feb 1972 (st), Tinley 2382 (MO).- Zambézia: Namacurra, Estrada de Quelimane, perto de Naciaia, 28 May 1949, Andrada 1529 (LMA-photo); A. Molócuè, junto da Estrada para o Niponde, 24 Jul 1949, Andrada 1898 (LMA-photo); entre Mocuba e Quelimane a 95.2 km de Mocuba, 28 May 1949 (fr), Barbosa & Carvalho 2911 (LMA-photo); Bajone, entre Namuera & Murroa, 2 Oct 1949 (fr), Barbosa & Carvalho 4284 (LMA-photo); entrance road to Casa Branca, ca. 82 km from Nicoadala on Caia road, 29 Dec 2006 (fl), Burrows & Burrows 9848 (BPNR-image); Nante, distrito Maganja da Costa, 18 Jul 1978, Macuácua 578 (LMA-photo); Maganja da Costa, ao km 23, estrada para Namacurra (Hh), 40 m, 27 Jan 1966 (fl), Torre & Correia 14168 (PRE). SOUTH AFRICA. Limpopo: [ “Transvaal”], Zoutpansberg District, Eubabeni (klein Australië), 800 m, 11 Aug 1980 (fl), von Breitenbach 16459 (PRE); Zoutpansberg District, Funduzi, 23 Jan 1931 (fl), Bremekamp & Schweickerdt 348 (PRE); Transvaal, Zoutpansberg District, Makonde Mission Station, 15 mi NE of Sibasa, 2500 ft, 18 Feb 1952 (st), Codd 6806 (K); Sikorora [near Leydsdorp] nr. Macoutsie Riv., Dec 1922 (fl), van Dam 22934 (PRE); Pietersburg Tul., Letaba, New Agatha, Forestry Department s. n. (K-2 sheets); Venda, Messina, Mabila village, SE of Nwanedi Game Park, 15 Jan 1989 (fr), Hardy 6914 (PRE); 2230 BD (Messina), Phiphidi, 15 Nov 1978 (fl), Hemm 881 (MO); Woodbush, N. Transvaal, Dec 1928 (fl, fr), Hutchinson 2240 (K); Shilowane, Oct-Nov (fl), Junod 1427 (K); road between Mufulwi and Makuleni, 997 m, 22°42'06"S, 30°28'32"E, 17 Jan 2004 (fr), Klein 767 (K); Regio Zoutpansberg, Punda Maria, K. N. P., Dec 1945 (buds), Lamont 27984 (PRE); Zoutpansberg District, Elim, Dec 1930 (st), Obermeyer 839 (PRE); Distr. Letaba, Cyprus farm, slopes of Kopje, 23 Nov 1968 (fl), Renny 253 (PRE); E. Transvaal, Dist. Punda Maria, 15 Oct 1952 (buds, fr), v. d. Schijff 969 (K); Kruger National Park, Shipudza, NW of Punda Maria, 1700 feet, 24 May 1954, v. d. Schijff 3779 (EA, K, L, MO); Dist. Krugerpark, Wambia, 2 Jun 1961 (st), v. d. Schijff 5686 (K); New Agatha - Trl., Letaba District, Feb 1933 (fl), Schnetler 8177 (PRE); Lekgalameetse Nat. Res., Balloon, near entrance gate of reserve, 26 Nov 1985 (fl), Stalmans 285 (K-2 sheets); Nor Transvaal, Zoutpansberg, Njelele - Tol, 10 Feb 1951 (fl, fr), Stopp M79 (M); Farm Balloon 71 KT, along Makhuiswi road, 860 m, 2 Aug 1983 (fr), Venter 9808 (LYD-photo); Dist. Sibasa, Ishakhuma, 23°03'S, 30°18'E, 2100 ft, 9 May 1951 (fr), van Warmelo 5159/14 (K); Dist. Sibasa, Rambuda, Loen., 22°47'S, 30°21'E, 2400 ft, 19 Dec 1951 (fl), van Warmelo 51219/7 (K); northern Transvaal, Sibasa District - Venda, 22°30° DA, next to tar road between Thengwe and Sagole Spa near top of mountain pass, 923 m, 31 Mar 1994 (fr), van Wyk BSA 2023 (PRE).

Xylopia gracilipes can be separated from its congeners by elliptic to oblong leaf blades that are cuneate to broadly cuneate at the base, axillary inflorescences of 1-2 pedicels 0.3-1.0 mm thick arising separately from the axil, outer petals no more than c. 18 mm in length and obtuse at the apex. In addition, the petals are uniformly pale green to yellow and lack purple coloration on the inner base.

Robson (1960) cited two of the Mozambique collections (Barbosa & Carvalho 4284, Torre 6192) as X. holtzii . He used the specimen Hutchinson 2240 from South Africa as the basis for the illustration of Xylopia holtzii in the same work (tab. 14, figs A1-A7). Similarly, Verdcourt (1971b) identified the specimen Schlieben 5571 from the Lindi Region of southern Tanzania as " X. parviflora ," i.e. Xylopia holtzii s. s. (see Johnson et al. 2017 for explanation). A study of a wider range of material than was available to these authors, supplemented with field knowledge of the plants in Mozambique shared by Mervyn Lötter, has shown that this species differs from Xylopia holtzii in a number of characters. The leaf blades, while somewhat variable in size and shape, are on the average smaller (3.3-9.7 cm long) and tend to be elliptic to oblong. The pedicels arise side by side in the inflorescences, and are more slender. The monocarps by maturity are glabrate. In contrast, in X. holtzii the leaf blades are slightly larger (4.8-11.4 cm long) and lanceolate or rarely narrowly oblong, most inflorescences have pedicels branching from a common peduncle, and the mature monocarps are persistently pubescent. Furthermore, the outer petals of X. holtzii , while green to yellow in color like those of X. gracilipes , are marked with a purple blotch on the inner base, are acute at the apex, and reach a length of 25 mm.

Xylopia gracilipes also resembles Xylopia shirensis , with which it is not known to overlap in range, but it has narrower leaf blades cuneate to broadly cuneate at the base and more slender (0.3-1.0 mm thick) pedicels; in contrast, the leaf blades in X. shirensis are proportionally broader and usually rounded to truncate at the base, and the pedicels, while of the same length as those of X. gracilipes , are instead 1.2-1.5 mm thick.

Some variants need further field study. The hairs on the specimen Groenendijk et al. 856 are longer and more abundant than is otherwise typical for the species, and the leaves of specimens from the Venda area of South Africa (e.g., van Wyk BSA 2023) are much smaller and more rounded than those from elsewhere in the distribution.