1. Family: Polygonaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Rumex L.
      1. Rumex hypogaeus T.M.Schust. & Reveal

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

    [FTEA]

    Polygonaceae, R. A. Graham. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1958

    Habit
    An erect or diffuse, much branched, green herb, glabrous throughout.
    Stem
    Stem furrowed.
    Ocrea
    Ocreae 5 mm. long, membranous, brown, readily tearing and falling away.
    Leaves
    Leaves long-petiolate, ovate, with a rounded or obtuse apex, basally rounded, truncate or cordate, shortly decurrent to the petiole; when mature with rounded basal lobes containing a broad basal sinus.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence rather laxly racemose, the flowers borne in axillary and sometimes shortly pedunculate clusters (or terminally as a spiciform raceme if the upper leaves are absent).
    Flowers
    Male tepals green, in two subequal series, ovate-elliptic, 2 mm. long, scarcely exceeding 1 mm. in width, all with brown midrib and veins. Anthers ovate, brownish-orange; filaments filiform, free. Female flowers sessile, all in axillary clusters. Inner 3 tepals erect, rounded or very broadly ovate, strongly veined with lateral veins bifurcating near the margin, the midrib excurrent as a short, rigid, spiny arista. Outer 3 tepals forming at the tips very sharp, rigid spreading spines, 4–5 mm. long; the faces perforated at maturity with usually 4 large pits.
    Male
    Male tepals green, in two subequal series, ovate-elliptic, 2 mm. long, scarcely exceeding 1 mm. in width, all with brown midrib and veins. Anthers ovate, brownish-orange; filaments filiform, free.
    Female
    Female flowers sessile, all in axillary clusters. Inner 3 tepals erect, rounded or very broadly ovate, strongly veined with lateral veins bifurcating near the margin, the midrib excurrent as a short, rigid, spiny arista. Outer 3 tepals forming at the tips very sharp, rigid spreading spines, 4–5 mm. long; the faces perforated at maturity with usually 4 large pits.
    Fruits
    Fruiting perianth parallel-sided, very accrescent and hard, 6 mm. long, 12–13 mm. overall broad.
    Figures
    Fig. 1/1 and 2.
    Habitat
    By roads and railways; essentially a plant of waste land; 1800–1900 m.
    Distribution
    K3 K4 introduced into our area, probably from South Africa, where it is reputedly native and known as Cape Spinach. Introduced into New Zealand, Madagascar, Australia (intentionally), and occasionally elsewhere as in Florida, California and Hawaii
    [FZ]

    Flora Zambesiaca. Vol. 9, Part 3. Polygonaceae-Myriaceae. Pope GV, Polhill RM, Martins ES. 2006.

    Type
    Type from South Africa.
    Habit
    An erect or prostrate, much branched herb with a semi-woody rootstock An erect or prostrate, much branched herb with a semi-woody rootstock.
    Stem
    Stem green or tinged with red especially towards the base, up to 30 cm or more long, furrowed, glabrous Stem green or tinged with red especially towards the base, up to 30 cm or more long, furrowed, glabrous.
    Leaves
    Leaf lamina 3.5–6 × 2–3 cm, oblong-ovate to ovate, rounded or obtuse at the apex, rounded cordate or truncate at the base and ± decurrent on the petiole; petiole 3–10 cm long, channelled Leaf lamina 3.5–6 × 2–3 cm, oblong-ovate to ovate, rounded or obtuse at the apex, rounded cordate or truncate at the base and ± decurrent on the petiole; petiole 3–10 cm long, channelled.
    Ocrea
    Ocrea brown, 5 mm long, membranous, lacerated Ocrea brown, 5 mm long, membranous, lacerated.
    Flowers
    Male flowers in terminal and axillary pedunculate clusters; perianth segments 2 × 1 mm, ovate-elliptic, green with brown midribs and veins; stamens ± as long as the perianth; filaments filiform; anthers orange-brownish, 0.7–0.8 × 0.3 mm, ellipsoid-cylindric. Female flowers sessile, urceolate, 6-lobed; lobes 2-seriate, the 3 inner lobes 3 × 2.5 mm, erect, rounded or very broadly ovate, strongly veined, the lateral veins bifurcating near the margin, the midrib prominent and produced into a spiny awn at the tip; outer lobes connate, forming a tube c. 4 mm long, indurated in fruit and produced at the tips into sharp rigid spreading spines c. 4–5 mm long, the faces perforated with 4 large pits; ovary 3–3.5 × 2–2.5 mm, triquetrous; styles 3, very short, 0.8 × 0.4 mm, broadly ovate, fringed on the inner side and lacerated above Female flowers sessile, urceolate, 6-lobed; lobes 2-seriate, the 3 inner lobes 3 × 2.5 mm, erect, rounded or very broadly ovate, strongly veined, the lateral veins bifurcating near the margin, the midrib prominent and produced into a spiny awn at the tip; outer lobes connate, forming a tube c. 4 mm long, indurated in fruit and produced at the tips into sharp rigid spreading spines c. 4–5 mm long, the faces perforated with 4 large pits; ovary 3–3.5 × 2–2.5 mm, triquetrous; styles 3, very short, 0.8 × 0.4 mm, broadly ovate, fringed on the inner side and lacerated above. Male flowers in terminal and axillary pedunculate clusters; perianth segments 2 × 1 mm, ovate-elliptic, green with brown midribs and veins; stamens ± as long as the perianth; filaments filiform; anthers orange-brownish, 0.7–0.8 × 0.3 mm, ellipsoid-cylindric.
    Fruits
    Nut 6 × 12–13 mm (including spines), triquetrous, included within the hardened perianth, very accrescent and with divaricate rigid spines Nut 6 × 12–13 mm (including spines), triquetrous, included within the hardened perianth, very accrescent and with divaricate rigid spines.
    Seeds
    Seeds 3–3.5 × 2.5 mm, triquetrous. Seeds 3–3.5 × 2.5 mm, triquetrous.
    Note
    S.A. Probably introduced into the Flora Zambesiaca area from South Africa where it is known as ‘Cape Spinach’.
    Ecology
    On roadsides and as an arable weed in irrigated cereals; 120–1250 m.
    Distribution
    Mozambique ZIM C, ZIM E, MOZ M Zimbabwe Native to Namibia and South Africa, introduced to East Africa, Madagascar, Australasia and U.
    Male
    Male flowers in terminal and axillary pedunculate clusters; perianth segments 2 × 1 mm, ovate-elliptic, green with brown midribs and veins; stamens ± as long as the perianth; filaments filiform; anthers orange-brownish, 0.7–0.8 × 0.3 mm, ellipsoid-cylindric.
    Female
    Female flowers sessile, urceolate, 6-lobed; lobes 2-seriate, the 3 inner lobes 3 × 2.5 mm, erect, rounded or very broadly ovate, strongly veined, the lateral veins bifurcating near the margin, the midrib prominent and produced into a spiny awn at the tip; outer lobes connate, forming a tube c. 4 mm long, indurated in fruit and produced at the tips into sharp rigid spreading spines c. 4–5 mm long, the faces perforated with 4 large pits; ovary 3–3.5 × 2–2.5 mm, triquetrous; styles 3, very short, 0.8 × 0.4 mm, broadly ovate, fringed on the inner side and lacerated above.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Cape Provinces, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Swaziland

    Introduced into:

    California, Hawaii, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Northern Territory, Pakistan, Queensland, Réunion, South Australia, St.Helena, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad-Tobago, Victoria, Western Australia, Zimbabwe

    Rumex hypogaeus T.M.Schust. & Reveal appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Mar 28, 1956 unknown [2877], South Africa Emex australis K000244117
    Forster [s.n.], South Africa Emex australis K000244116
    Wallich [s.n.], South Africa Emex australis K000244113
    Drege [s.n.], South Africa Emex australis K000244114
    Drege [s.n.], South Africa Emex australis K000244115

    First published in Taxon 64: 1203 (2015)

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2006). Flora Zambesiaca 9(3): 1-277. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Bosser, J. & al. (eds.) (1994). Flore des Mascareignes 136-148: 1. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris.
    • MacKee, H.S. (1994). Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie, ed. 2: 1-164. Museum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris.
    • Brown, L.C. (1982). The Flora and Fauna of St Helena: 1-88. Land Resources Development Centre, Surbiton, England.

    Sources

    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

    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 2019. 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 2019. 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