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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Lactuca L.
      1. Lactuca schweinfurthii Oliv. & Hiern

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Cameroon to South Sudan and S. Tropical Africa.


    Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

    Perennial herb with erect stems 1.4–2.4 m high; taproot fleshy or semi-woody; stems solitary or in pairs, often purplish proximally, ribbed, sparsely glandular-setose with purple setae.
    Leaves all cauline, lanceolate, 4–24 cm long, 1–4.5 cm wide, base cuneate to rounded or semi-amplexicaul, margins sinuate-dentate, apex acute, sparsely setose to subglabrous.
    Capitula many, in lax panicle to 40 cm long; involucre cylindric to narrowly campanulate, 6–10.5 mm long; phyllaries often purplish, ovate to lanceolate, 3–10 mm long, glabrous except for the ciliate margins in the outermost and the ciliate-lobed apices.
    Florets ± 5 per capitulum; corolla yellow, tube cylindric, 2–2.5 mm long, ligule erect, 4–5.5 mm long.
    Achenes orange to dark brown, flattened ellipsoid, 4–4.5 mm long, not or hardly beaked, 1(–2)-ribbed on each side, minutely puberulous; pappus white, 3–5.5 mm long.
    Fig. 20/4 (achene).
    Brachystegia woodland and grassland; 1750–2000 m

    Compositae, C. D. Adams. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

    A perennial herb erect hispid-setulose stems up to about 6 ft. high
    Inflorescence spreading with numerous flower-heads about 1/2 in. long
    Florets mauve or yellow.

    Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

    An erect perennial herb to c. 2.4 m. tall, from a semi-woody taproot.
    Stems solitary simple striately ribbed, glaucous often purple-tinged below, sparsely glandular-setose; setae up to c. 3 mm. long, patent, usually dark-purple.
    Leaves cauline, somewhat crowded below; the lowermost up to c. 20 x 4.5 cm., lanceolate to narrowly elliptic undivided, acute, ± shallowly sinuate-dentate and irregularly denticulate on the margins, attenuate to rounded and shortly petiole-like at the base, glabrous or setose on the midrib and nerves beneath; upper leaves decreasing in size towards the stem apex becoming lanceolate sessile amplexicaul and sparsely setulose or glabrescent.
    Synflorescence an elongate terminal panicle; branches up to c. 15 cm. long, slender, patent-ascending, sparsely setulose or glabrescent, bracteate.
    Capitula stalked, ± aggregated in loose clusters; involucres 6–8 x 1.5–2 mm. at time of flowering, increasing to c. 10 x 4 mm. in fruiting capitula, cylindric to narrowly campanulate, glaucous, often purple-tinged.
    Phyllaries 2–3-seriate, increasing in length towards the inside, ciliolate-pubescent above and often subapically corniculate; the outermost ovate, the innermost up to 10 mm. long, narrowly lanceolate, obtuse.
    Florets c. 5 per capitulum.
    Corollas 8–10 mm. long, yellow; tubes slender, glabrous; ligule erect, c. 5.5 mm. long, narrowly obovate-lorate, lobes up to 1 mm. long, minutely papillose above.
    Achenes dark-brown to black, hardly or very shortly beaked, c. 4.5 x 2 mm., broadly ellipsoidal, strongly flattened, margins thickened, narrowly 1-ribbed or occasionally 2-ribbed on each face, minutely hispidulous; pappus several-seriate of white barbellate setae c. 5.5 mm. long.



    Native to:

    Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

    Other Data

    Lactuca schweinfurthii Oliv. & Hiern appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Gossweiler, J. [13843], Angola K001307260
    Maitland, T.D. [1396], Cameroon K000027613
    Schweinfurth [4015] K000251874 Unknown type material


    First published in Fl. Trop. Afr. 3: 452 (1877)

    Accepted by

    • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • in F.T.A. 3: 452 (1877).

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • G.V. Pope in Flora Zambesiaca 6: 201 (1992).
    • Lawalrée, Dethier & Gilissen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale Compositae: Cichorioideae: 58 (1986).
    • Dethier in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 52: 381 (1982).
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 18: 448 (1966).
    • C.D. Adams in Flora of West Tropical Africa 3: 293 (1963).
    • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Sudan 3: 38 (1956).
    • Oliv. & Hiern in Flora of Tropical Africa 3: 452 (1877).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.