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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Sonchus L.
      1. Sonchus bipontini Asch.

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


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

    A weak-stemmed perennial herb with a semi-woody rootstock.
    Stems trailing or scrambling to c. 3 m. long, or erect and up to c. 1.2 m. tall, mostly solitary, branched above, very leafy throughout becoming leafless below, terete hollow, sometimes ± glandular-setose above otherwise glabrous.
    Leaves glabrous, largest and crowded on the upper stem, 5–20 x 0.25–1.6 cm., linear-elliptic becoming linear-lanceolate and sessile towards the stem apex, attenuate above, entire or less often ± recurved acicular-dentate to lobed on the margins, attenuate and shortly sagittate at the base in lower leaves, becoming amplexicaul and subauriculate-sagittate in upper leaves; lobes up to c. 2 cm. long narrowly runcinate-triangular; ± well developed leafy axillary shoots usually present, at least in upper leaves, the young axillary growth densely brown-lanate later glabrescent.
    Capitula subsessile or shortly stalked, 2-many ± aggregated in terminal clusters or in lax corymbiform cymes; mature capitula subtended by 1-several subsessile buds; the bases of the capitula as well as the subtending buds and the capitula stalks enveloped in a white persistent lanate indumentum, synflorescence branches and capitula stalks densely glandular-setose or glabrous.
    Involucres c. 10–13 mm. long in fruiting capitula, cylindric later spreading, phyllaries eventually reflexed.
    Phyllaries few-seriate, imbricate, white-lanate outside where exposed, glabrescent towards the apices, usually also glandular-setose outside; the outermost c. 4 mm. long, narrowly ovate; the innermost 10–13 x 1.5–2.5 mm., lanceolate, ± obtuse at the apices.
    Florets numerous.
    Corollas yellow, c. 10–13 mm. long, pubescent about the junction of the tube and ligule; ligule c. 3–4 mm. long, oblong.
    Achenes reddish-brown, 2.5–3 mm. long, narrowly ellipsoid, somewhat flattened, c. 4-angular with ribs on the angles, smaller ribs developing in between, the main ribs becoming thickened and transversely rugulose, glabrous; pappus white, dimorphic, c. 11 mm. long composed of minutely barbellate setae intermixed with down-like hairs.

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

    Perennial herb, usually weak-stemmed, from a stout rootstock, 0.4–1.5 m high; stems scrambling or straggly, to 9 m long; stems often reddish, hollow, glabrous or distally glandular-setose.
    Leaves shiny above, glaucous beneath, sessile, linear-elliptic to lanceolate, 4–20 cm long, 0.2–1.6 cm wide, base attenuate and shortly sagittate in proximal leaves, in distal leaves semi-amplexicaul and sub-auriculate, margins entire or less often with recurved teeth or spinules, sometimes lobed with the lobes narrowly triangular and to 2 cm long, apex attenuate, glabrous.
    Capitula solitary or in few-headed rather dense Groups, these in turn in lax leafy corymbs or panicles; stalks of individual capitula short, white-tomentose and sometimes with stalked glands extending further down the inflorescence; involucre cylindric to campanulate, eventually with reflexed phyllaries, 10–15(–18,K3) mm long; phyllaries green with reddish or purplish tinge or tips, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 2.5–13 mm long, obtuse, white-tomentose proximally, becoming more glabrous distally and on the inner phyllaries, distally ciliate, sometimes the outer and distal part of the inner glandular-setose.
    Florets many per capitulum; corolla yellow, tube cylindric, 6–10 mm long, distally pilose; ligules 3–6.5 mm long, 0.5–1.2 mm wide.
    Achenes pale or reddish brown, narrowly ellipsoid, slightly flattened, 2.5–3.5 mm long, ribbed, rugulose but glabrous; pappus white, 7–11 mm long.
    Grassland, forest glades, road- and pathsides, bamboo zone; (900–)1500–3150 m
    K1 K3 K5 T2 T4 T6 T7 U1 U2 U3



    Native to:

    Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre


    Other Data

    Sonchus bipontini Asch. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1997 Bally, P.R.O. [4998], Kenya K000334226
    Jan 1, 1997 Tweedie [888], Kenya K000334219
    Jan 1, 1997 Luke, W.R.Q. [8945], Kenya K000334217
    Jan 1, 1997 Mwangangi, O.M. [392], Kenya K000334220
    Jan 1, 1997 Kokwaro, J.O. [2448], Kenya K000334221
    Ash [389], Ethiopia 13369.018
    Ash [1398], Ethiopia 35686.000
    Hepper, F.N. [7114], Kenya K000334223
    Tweedie [4296], Kenya K000334222
    Hooper, S.S. [1389], Kenya K000334225
    Schimper [1299] K000251859
    Schimper [1299] K000251860
    Schimper [1299] K000251861
    Hedberg, O. [66], Kenya K000334218


    First published in Beitr. Fl. Aethiop.: 160 (1867)

    Accepted by

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


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 230 (1994).
    • G.V. Pope in Flora Zambesiaca 6: 226 (1992).
    • Lawalrée, Dethier & Gilissen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale Compositae: Cichorioideae: 34 (1986).
    • Boulos in Bot. Notis. 127: 411 (1974).
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 18: 479 (1966).
    • R.E. Fr. in Acta Horti Berg. 8: 100 (1924).
    • Oliv. & Hiern in Flora of Tropical Africa 3: 458 (1877).
    • Asch. in Schweinf., Beitr. Fl. Aethiop.: 160 (1867).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East 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.