Skip to main content
  1. Family: Chrysobalanaceae R.Br.
    1. Hirtella L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical America, E. & S. Tropical Africa, Madagascar.


    Rosaceae, R. A. Graham. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1960

    Trees with hermaphrodite flowers
    Leaves simple, entire
    Calyx-tube narrowly cylindrical, usually gibbous, with 5 spreading or reflexing lobes; receptacle-mouth nearly circular, crateriform
    Petals 5, caducous
    Antheriferous stamens 7–9, long-exserted, free to the base, inserted on the dorsal rim of the receptacle mouth; staminodes very short, free to the base, inserted on the rim ventrally
    Ovary unilocular, inserted dorsally but appearing ± central in the receptacle mouth; ovules basal, 2 (apparently only 1 usually developing); style basal, filiform, long-exserted
    Fruit with a hard crustaceous pericarp.

    Chrysobalanaceae, F. White. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

    Trees or shrubs.
    Lower leaf surface glabrous or with a few strigose or strigulose hairs.
    Inflorescence many-flowered, usually a lax raceme or an elongate thyrse with patent flowers or lateral branches; the latter usually bear several sterile bracts and end in a single flower or a few cymosely arranged flowers.
    Flowers slightly zygomorphic.
    Bracts and bracteoles often with stalked or sessile glands.
    Receptacle-tube subcampanulate to narrowly cylindric, slightly gibbous, usually shorter than the sepals, usually glabrous inside except near the throat, and hairy outside.
    Sepals 5, subequal, usually spreading or reflexed.
    Petals 5, shorter than the sepals.
    Stamens 3–9; filaments laxly undulate in bud with a single undulation, inserted on abaxial surface of disk (at least in our area), far-exserted, usually much longer than the combined length of calyx and receptacle-tube.
    Staminodes short, free.
    Ovary monocarpellary, 1-locular, usually inserted at mouth of receptacle-tube, style filiform, far-exserted.
    Drupe with exiguous mesocarp and smooth, thin, hard, non-granular endocarp with 4–7 longitudinal shallow channels which represent lines of weakness that permit the seedling to escape.
    Germination hypogeal, first leaves alternate.



    Native to:

    Belize, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Leeward Is., Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mozambique, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Windward Is., Zambia

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Hirtella L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Pennington, R.T. [54], Bolivia 53786.000
    s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], Myanmar K001132771


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 34 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Prance, G.T. & Sothers, C.A. (2003). Chrysobalanaceae 1 & 2 Species Plantarum: Flora of the World 9, 10: 1-319, 1-268. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • A. Chev. in Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Sér. 2, 3: 192–195 (1931).
    • Sp. Pl. 1: 34 (1753)

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 20 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 1: 34(1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 20 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 34 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    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.