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This species is accepted, and its native range is Africa, Israel to Arabian Peninsula.
Balanites aegyptiaca

[FZ]

Balanitaceae, E. Launert. Flora Zambesiaca 2:1. 1963

Morphology General Habit
Small evergreen tree (rarely a shrub) up to 15 m. high, ± spiny, with a flat or rounded crown; stem with a reticulate dark brown or grey (rarely green) bark; branches green or greyish, stiff and brittle, always armed with stout simple green or yellowish spines.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate; leaflets shortly petiolulate; lamina 2·5–6 × 1·5–4 cm., slightly asymmetric, elliptic to elliptic-obovate, apex subacute to obtuse, sometimes slightly refuse, base cuneate or rarely rounded, coriaceous, puberulous when young, later glabrescent or sometimes remaining puberulous on the lower surface; secondary nerves 4–6 pairs, ± prominent beneath; petiole (0·5) 0·8–2 cm. long, puberulous or glabrescent, canaliculate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Flowers in usually few-flowered sessile or shortly pedunculate fascicles; pedicels up to 1·5 cm. long, ± densely greyish-pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers c. 1·4 cm. in diam.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 5·2–7 × 2·7–3·25 mm., ovate or ovate-lanceolate, coriaceous, caducous, densely pubescent outside, with long silky whitish hairs inside.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 7·2–9·5 × 2–2·4 (2·8) mm., narrowly elliptic or elliptic-oblong, rarely lanceolate-oblong, glabrous on both surfaces.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens with the anthers 1·7–2·2 mm. long, ovate or ovate-oblong, glabrous; filaments c. 3·75 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary densely covered with long silky hairs.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Drupe yellowish or green, up to 5 × 2·5 cm., usually subcylindric, more rarely narrowly ellipsoid or subobclavate, finely puberulous, sometimes glabrescent.

[FWTA]

Zygophyllaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

Morphology General Habit
A tree 20–30 ft. high, with greenish stems and branches
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Yellow edible fruits each with a single hard seed.

[FTEA]

Balanitaceae, Martin J.S. Sands. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2003

Morphology General Habit
A semi-evergreen or sometimes deciduous shrub or small tree up to 12(–15) m high, usually spiny, extremely variable in many of its characters; bole usually straight, to 60 cm diameter, often fluted, branches spreading irregularly or pendulous, sometimes forming a rounded crown; bark hard, becoming rough, corky and deeply fissured, dark grey; branchlets and spines greyish green becoming light brown, at first minutely puberulous to tomentellous, usually glabrescent.
Morphology General Spines
Spines borne at wide angle to the parent stem, axillary or to 4 mm above the axil, straight or slightly curved, (0.4–)2–8(–11.5) cm long, 2–6 mm diameter at the base, terete with a sharp tip or subulate, without leaves or flowers, only very rarely bearing a short branch-spine.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves subsessile or with a petiole up to 3.5 cm long; stipules0.5–1 mm long, triangular, caducous, finely puberulous, glabrescent; leaflets very variable, narrowly spathulate or elliptic to broadly ovate or obovate, sometimes very broadly spathulate or almost orbicular and eccentric, 0.6–6.8 cm long, 0.3–5 cm wide, sessile or with petiolules 0.1–1 cm long, thin to coriaceous, apex bluntly acute to obtuse or rounded, occasionally emarginate, cuneate or narrowly decurrent at the base, closely and minutely puberulous, often glabrescent, or sometimes densely tomentellous or tomentose; foliole 1–2.5 mm long, often caducous, linear and bent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of (1–)2–20 or more flowers variously arranged in cymose fasicles at spineless or spiniferous nodes, or closely arranged on shoots of short internodes, sometimes more or less spiciform, finely tomentellous to tomentose; peduncle, if present, 2–8 mm long; pedicels 0.4–2 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers 5-merous, sweet-scented; sepals spreading to reflexed, ovate, 3.5–5.5 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm wide, acute to acuminate, tomentellous to tomentose on the outside, sometimes early caducous; petals spreading, sometimes reflexed, green to pale yellow or creamy white, lanceolate or narrowly elliptic to obovate-oblong, 4.5–7 mm long, 1–2.5 mm wide, rounded or obtuse to acute, sometimes contorted at the apex, glabrous within; stamens 10, spreading; anthers 0.7–1.8 mm long, 0.4–0.7 mm wide; ovary 0.7–1 mm high, puberulous or pubescent to tomentose; style 1.5–3.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit elongating markedly in very early development, very variable when mature, ripening greenish brown to yellow, subspherical or ovoid to ellipsoidal, 2.3–4.7 cm long, 1.3–2.8 cm wide, rounded, truncate or sometimes sulcate at both ends or apex tapering, conical, leathery at first, becoming brittle on the outside, inside yellowish brown, fibrous and oily, surrounding a hard, woody endocarp containing the seed.
Distribution
DISTR. (of species as a whole) throughout much of Africa from Mauritania and Senegal to Somalia and from Egypt southwards to Zambia and ZimbabweW Arabia and the Jordan valley

[FSOM]

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

Morphology General Habit
Shrub or tree up to 8 m high, usually spiny, with spreading or pendulous branches
Morphology Stem
Young stems and spines greyish-green becoming light brown, minutely puberulous or tomentellous, glabrescent
Morphology General Spines
Spines arising 0.1–0.4 cm above the leaf-axil, (0.4–)2–8(–11.5) cm long, naked except for a few scale-leaves or rarely a single short lateral spine
Morphology Leaves
Scale-leaves rare, on young spines, falling quickly, c. 0.75 mm long Foliage leaves only on the stems, puberulous to tomentellous, often glabrescent, subsessile or with up to 2(–3.5) cm long petiole; petiolule (0–)1–5(–8) mm long; leaflets narrowly elliptic to broadly ovate or obovate, 1–6.8 x 0.3–5 cm, leathery, cuneate at the base, bluntly acute to obtuse or rounded at the apex
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Flowers 5-merous, (1–)2–15(–20 or more), variously arranged in loose to tight sometimes ± spike-like clusters at spinous nodes or on spineless stems; pedicels 4–11(–20) mm long, tomentellous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals narrowly obovate-elliptic, yellowish or blue-green, 4.5–6.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 10
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary pubescent to tomentose; style 1–2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit elongating markedly in early development, becoming ovoid to ellipsoid, usually rounded or truncate at both ends, usually ripening yellow, (2.3–)2.9–4(–4.5) x (1.3–)1.7–2.2(–2.5) cm.

Native to:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sinai, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Azores, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Netherlands Antilles

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Delile appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Dawkins, H. [791], Uganda 15442.000
Drummond, R.B. [1252], Kenya 16028.000
Tanner, R. [1205], Tanzania 16454.000
s.coll. [Cat. no. 6855] K001124992
s.coll. [Cat. no. 6855] K001124994 Unknown type material
s.coll. [Cat. no. 6855] K001124993
Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 6855], India K001124996
Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 6855], India K001124995

First published in Descr. Egypte, Hist. Nat. 2(Mém.): 221 (1813)

Accepted by

  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Audru, J., Cesar, J. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1994). Les Plantes Vasculaires de la République de Djibouti. Flore Illustrée 1: 1-336. CIRAD, Départerment d'Elevage et de Médecine vétérinaire, Djibouti.
  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 3: 1-89. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2013). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 5: 1-451. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Guinea, E. (1948). Catálogo razonado de las plantas del Sáhara Español Anales del Jardin Botanico de Madrid 8: 357-429.
  • Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.
  • Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013). Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh, Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • Sikarwar, R.L.S. (2014). Angiosperm diversity assessment of Chitrakootthe legendary place of Vindhyan range, India Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 38: 563-619.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Aubrév. Fl. For. Soud.-Guin. 366, t. 76, 1–5.
  • F.T.A. 1: 315
  • in Descr. Égypt. Hist. Nat. 2: 221, t. 28, 1 (1813)

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 3: 1-89. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Curtis, B. & Mannheimer, C. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia: 1-688. The National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek.
  • Jones, M. (1991). A checklist of Gambian plants: 1-33. Michael Jones, The Gambia College.

Flora of Somalia

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

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Beentje, Kenya Trees, Shrubs and Lianas p. 377, fig., map (1994).
  • Cufod., Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatophyta (Supplement in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux.) p. 365 (1956) pro parte.
  • Delile, Descr. Égypte, Hist. Nat.: 221 & t. 28, fig. 1 (1813).
  • Engl. in A. Engler & K. Prantl, Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien 3, 4: 355 (1896) pro parte.
  • Gilbert in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 7: 66 (1958).
  • Launert in Flora Zambesiaca 2: 223 (1963).
  • Oliv., Flora of Tropical Africa 1: 315 (1868).
  • Sands in Kew Bulletin 56: 51, t. 9 & 11 map 4 & 6 (2001).

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

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

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

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical 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

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/