1. Family: Burseraceae Kunth
    1. Genus: Commiphora Jacq.
      1. Commiphora africana (A.Rich.) Engl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa.

    [FWTA]

    Burseraceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

    Habit
    A shrub or small tree up to 20 ft. high, usually with spines
    Exudate
    Leaves and bark fragrant-resinous
    Branches
    Bark of branchlets reddish purple
    Flowers
    Flowers reddish, usually produced when leafless
    Ecology
    In dry savannah woodland.
    [FZ]

    Burseraceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 2:1. 1963

    Habit
    Shrub or small tree c. 2–5 m. tall; bark smooth, dark green or yellowish, peeling in yellowish strips; young branches densely pubescent or tomentose with short whitish hairs or sometimes yellowish longer hairs, spiny.
    Leaves
    Leaves 3-foliolate; petiole up to 4·5 cm. long, but usually less, pubescent or pilose; terminal leaflet up to 8 × 5 cm., often smaller, obovate, apex acute or obtuse, base gradually cuneate, lateral leaflets about 1/2–3/4 the size of the terminal one, elliptic to rotund, apex acute or rounded, margins (of all leaflets) coarsely crenate or crenate-serrate, base rounded or broadly cuneate, both surfaces pubescent or occasionally glabrous above.
    Flowers
    Flowers appearing before the leaves in axillary abbreviated clusters, often borne on the spines; pedicels up to 2 mm. long, pubescent or glabrous.
    Calyx
    Calyx c. 2 mm. long, campanulate, lobed to about 1/3-way, glabrous or pubescent.
    Corolla
    Petals 3–5 mm. long, stamen-filaments subterete, slender above but broadening somewhat near the base.
    Disc
    Disk-lobes 4, ± bifid at the apex.
    Fruits
    Fruit c. 1·2 cm. in diam., subglobose; pseudaril apparently absent or occasionally irregularly lobulate and covering about 3/4 of the endocarp; endocarp c. 1 cm. in diam., subglobose but with one face more nearly hemispherical than the other, rugose, the two faces separated by a narrow wing-like rim.
    [FTEA]

    Burseraceae, J.B. Gillett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1991

    Habit
    Shrubs or small trees up to 10 m. tall; trunk straight, cylindrical, often beset, from near the base, with short stiff horizontal spiny branches; outer bark peeling in glossy reddish brown or grey scrolls; both long- and short-shoots usually spine-tipped; very young twigs markedly pubescent, later glabrescent; slash granular, mottled red; exudate slightly scented, producing a hard gum-resin.
    Leaves
    Leaves all 3-foliolate, pubescent, at least on the petioles and lower surface of the veins; petiole of leaves on long-shoots shorter than the central leaflet, sometimes only 3–5 mm. long, of leaves on short-shoots up to 22 mm. long, often as long as the leaflets or longer; terminal leaflet obovate, rhombic or elliptic, less often lanceolate, attenuate basally, truncate, rounded or acute apically, varying greatly in size, 10–100 mm. long, 10–60 mm. wide, with numerous well-marked irregularly crenate serrations; lateral leaflets orbicular-elliptic-ovate, sometimes greatly reduced less than 1/10 the size of the terminal leaflet and only 2–3 mm. in diameter, sometimes up to half as large as the central leaflet, always definitely toothed.
    Flowers
    Flowers precocious, red, crowded in short cymes on pedicels 0–2 mm. long, each enclosed at the base by a pair of ovate bracts about 1 mm. long.
    Receptacle
    Receptacle cupular, ± 1.2 mm. wide, 0.7 mm. deep.
    Calyx
    Calyx 2.5–3.5 mm. long, its tube much longer than the lobes.
    Corolla
    Petals glabrous, linear, widened and reflexed towards the tip, 5–7 mm. long; filaments 3.5 and 2 mm., anthers 0.8 and 0.4 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit-stalk 0.2 mm. long; drupe asymmetrically ellipsoid-obovoid, rounded but apiculate at the tip, varying greatly in size from 6–14 mm. long, 5–10 mm. wide, 5–10 mm. thick; pseudaril (in Flora area) nearly always completely covering the putamen except for a small area at the tip where it is irregularly 4-toothed, rarely this divided upper portion may be up to 1/3 of the whole; stone strongly rugose, the sterile locule definitely and rather broadly ridged throughout its length; germination shield about half as long as the fertile locule, rather obscure among the corrugations of the stone’s surface; apical pits well defined but small in var. africana sometimes very large in var. oblongifoliolata .

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Commiphora africana (A.Rich.) Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Oct 13, 2008 Crawford, F. [127], Namibia K000450358
    Oct 13, 2008 Crawford, F. [01], Namibia K000450359
    Jun 16, 1970 Dinter [1619], Namibia K000425454
    Jan 1, 1959 Baines, J. [s.n.], Botswana K000511041
    Jan 1, 1959 [Leiner] [90], Mozambique K000425393
    Milne-Redhead, E. [7547], Tanzania 28482.000
    Drummond, R.B. [1237], Kenya 15449.000
    Drummond, R.B. [1260], Tanzania 15450.000
    Drummond, R.B. [3323], Tanzania 16034.000
    Drummond, R.B. [2369], Tanzania 21887.000
    Tweedie, E.M. [1949], Kenya 27346.000
    Faulkner, H. [1916], Tanzania 16513.000
    Polhill, R. [552], Kenya 22972.000
    Faulkner, H. [2484], Tanzania 23367.000
    Ash, J. [1889/A], Ethiopia 15077.017
    Ash, J. [806], Ethiopia 40415.000
    Long, D.G. [312], Botswana K000511040
    B. [6721], Botswana K000511043
    [Unknown] [129] K000199628
    Smith, P.A. [309], Botswana K000511042
    Gillett, J.B. [12500], Kenya Commiphora pilosa 21893.000
    Eyles, F. [8817], Zimbabwe Commiphora pilosa 21894.000
    Drake-Brockman, R.E. [780], Somalia Commiphora africana var. tubuk K000199686 Unknown type material

    First published in A.L.P.P.de Candolle & A.C.P.de Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 4: 14 (1883)

    Accepted by

    • Onana, J.M. (2017). Flore du Cameroun 43: 1-94. Ministère de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique (Mesres), Yaoundé.
    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Kalema, J. & Beentje, H. (2012). Conservation checklist of the trees of Uganda: 1-235. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.
    • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) in Thulin, M. (ed.) (1999). Flora of Somalia 2: 1-303. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Gillett, J.B. (1991). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Burseraceae: 1-94.
    • Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 1: 1-359. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
    • Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.
    • Lebrun, J.p., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1963). Flora Zambesiaca 2(1): 1-351. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Aubrév. Fl. For. Soud.-Guin. 373, 375, t. 78, 1–3.
    • Chev. Bot. 110, incl. var. togoensis Engl.
    • in DC. Monogr. Burserac. 14 (1883)
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.
    • Audru, J., Cesar, J. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1994). Les Plantes Vasculaires de la République de Djibouti. Flore Illustrée 1: 1-336. CIRAD, Départerment d'Elevage et de Médecine vétérinaire, Djibouti.
    • Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.
    • Lebrun, J.p., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1963). Flora Zambesiaca 2(1): 1-351. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Vollesen in Fl. Eth. 3: 454 (1990).
    • Van der Walt in Flora of Southern Africa 18: 9 (1986).
    • Troupin, Fl. Pl. Lign. Rwanda: 177 (1982), pro majore parte excl. fig. 601a.
    • Vollesen in Opera Bot. 59: 57 (1980).
    • Coates Palgrave, Trees S. Afr.: 357 (1977).
    • Van der Walt in Bothalia 11: 68, figs. 27–32 (1973).
    • Wild in Flora Zambesiaca 2: 276 (1963).
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 83 (1961), pro majore parte, excl. fig. 17a.
    • Keay, Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 695 (1958).
    • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 2: 323, fig. 117 (1952).
    • W.J. Eggeling, Indigenous Trees of the Uganda Protectorate, ed. 2: 53 (1952).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 83 (1949).
    • Mattick in Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahelm 12: 663 (1935).
    • Engl. in A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3(1): 789, fig. 372N–Nb (1915).
    • Engl. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 48: 462, 484, fig. 3N–Nb (1912)
    • K. Schum. in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile B: 31 (1895)
    • Engl. in DC., Monogr. Phan. 4: 14 (1883)

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0