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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa, Madagascar, Arabian Peninsula, India.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Shrubs or small to medium-sized trees, unarmed; exudate aromatic, hardening to a resin
Morphology Leaves
Leaves imparipinnate or rarely simple, often clustered at the tips of branches, very minute gland-tipped hairs often present, usually mixed with longer eglandular hairs; leaflets usually subsessile, often subalternate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle, raceme or thyrse, produced with or sometimes before the leaves
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bisexual or (in Madagascar) unisexual, the plants then dioecious; calyx 5-lobed; petals 5, free; stamens inserted outside a conspicuous annular ± distinctly lobed disk in 2 whorls of 5, free, outer filaments sometimes wider than the inner
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 3–6(–8)-celled; style simple; stigma truncate to capitate or club-shaped
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a pseudocapsule, pear-shaped to obovoid-ellipsoid or subglobose, with a truncate-pointed tip, the 3–6(–8) angles sometimes ± winged, the outer walls breaking away on dehiscence to disclose a winged axis with a 1-seeded stone in each compartment between the wings; stones surrounded by a fragile outer layer which sometimes forms a ± persistent wing.
Distribution
19 species in rather dry areas from the Ivory Coast to India and southwards to north-eastern Tanzania and northern Madagascar.
Note
B. ogadensis Vollesen is known only from near the type locality at Kelafo in the Ogaden (Ethiopia). It has subglabrous leaves with 7 entire leaflets and flowers in panicles and may well occur also in Somalia.

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Unarmed large bushes or small to medium-sized trees; outer bark often peeling in papery flakes, under-bark greenish with a watery aromatic exudate hardening to a resin; wood soft, often with a milky latex
Morphology Leaves
Leaves usually clustered at the ends of branches, usually imparipinnate but 1-foliolate or hetero–3-foliolate in 2 Socotran species; stipules sometimes present, caducous; leaflets often subalternate, variously crenate or serrate, or entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle or raceme
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bisexual or (in B. madagascariensis) dioecious
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5-lobed, persistent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, free
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens inserted outside a conspicuous annular disc, 10 in 2 whorls of 5, the outer usually having broader filaments than the inner
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary (2–)3(–4–5)-locular or, in B. frereana Birdwood from N. Somalia, (5–)6(–8)-locular; style simple; stigma capitate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit an obovoid pseudocapsule with (2–)3(–4–5) angles, the outer walls breaking away to disclose a (2–)3(–4–5)-winged axis with a 1-seeded nutlet in each compartment between the wings; nutlets at first surrounded by a fragile outer layer which may form a temporary wing
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Cotyledons 3- or 5-lobed or 3-lobed with both lateral lobes bifid
Figures
Fig. 3/1,2, p. 10.

[FSOM]
Use
The gum-resins of most species may be burnt as frankincense, some are used for chewing and for medicinal purposes. In Somalia B. frereana and B. sacra are of major economic importance.

Native to:

Assam, Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Senegal, Socotra, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, West Himalaya, Yemen

Extinct in:

Sri Lanka

Boswellia Roxb. ex Colebr. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 19, 1978 unknown [710], Socotra K000199635 Unknown type material
Smith, A.R. [598], Yemen 61725.000

First published in Asiat. Res. 9: 379 (1807)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Engl. in E. & P. Pflanzenfam. 19A: 419 (1931).
  • —F.T.A. 1: 323

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 2, (1999) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Thulin & Warfa in KB. 42: 487 (1987)
  • in Asiat. Res. 9: 379 (1807)

Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
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

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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 2021. 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 2021. 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