1. Family: Lamiaceae Martinov
    1. Genus: Vitex L.
      1. Vitex mombassae Vatke

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

    [FTEA]

    Verbenaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1992

    Habit
    Much-branched shrub or small tree 1.2–6 m. tall, with white, grey or reddish brown corrugated or fissured bark which becomes stringy, less often smooth.
    Shoots
    Shoots more slender than in species 13, densely orange ferruginous velvety with more adpressed pubescence but sometimes more snaggy in some areas (e.g. T1).
    Leaves
    Leaves 3–5-foliolate; leaflets elliptic, 0.5–13.5 cm. long, 0.5–5.5 cm. wide, shortly acuminate (always in young apical leaves) to broadly rounded or rarely emarginate at the apex, cuneate at the base, with scattered pubescence above, ferruginous velvety beneath with tangled hairs but sometimes glabrescent; venation impressed above, ± bullate and finely reticulate beneath; petiole 2–5.5 cm. long; leaflets sessile or central leaflets with petiolule 6–7(–10 in T4) mm. long in longest leaves or all leaflets petiolulate even in small leaves in some areas (e.g. T4).
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences ± 4 cm. long, densely ± adpressed ferruginous; peduncle 2–5 cm. long; bracts narrowly oblong to oblanceolate, 1.1–1.8 cm. long, 3–4 mm. wide, acuminate, glabrous inside.
    Calyx
    Calyx densely ferruginous hairy; tube 3.5–4 mm. long; lobes 1.5–2 mm. long.
    Corolla
    Corolla pale blue, pale purple or blue-mauve with throat and the smallest lobes creamy white; tube 7–9 mm. long, pubescent outside; larger lower lip 0.8–1.3 cm. long, 0.7–1 cm. wide, sometimes yellow at base, hairy in middle; small lobes round or triangular, 5 × 3–5 mm.
    Stamens
    Stamens exserted 5–9 mm.; filaments rather stout, micropapillate.
    Pistil
    Style exserted 5–9 mm. Ovary densely pubescent.
    Fruits
    Fruits dark purple, globose, (1.5(T4)–)2–3.2(–3.5) cm. diameter, ± slightly pubescent at apex. Calycine cup 1.5–1.7 cm. long, 1 cm. wide, ± venose, distinctly toothed, pubescent. Dried mesocarp a dense mass of fibres.
    Figures
    Fig. 9.
    Habitat
    Scrub and thicket, Hyphaene, Albizia, etc., Sterculia, Pterocarpus, secondary bushland, Brachystegia woodland, often on rocky granite hills; 20–1580 m.
    Distribution
    K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8
    [FZ]

    Flora Zambesiaca. Vol 8, Pt 7. Avicenniaceae, R. Fernandes. Nesogenaceae, M.A. Diniz. Verbenaceae, R. Fernandes. Lamiaceae, R. Fernandes. 2005.

    Type
    Type from Kenya.
    General
    Much branched shrub or small deciduous tree up to 8(17) m tall; bark grey-brown, fissured becoming stringy; older branches grey-brown or red-brown pubescent; young branches and twigs densely orange-tawny lanate
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences axillary, of few-flowered simple dichasia, 4–12 cm long, shortly orange-tawny villose or lanate with ± densely tangled pilose hairs; bracteoles 0.8–2 cm long, narrow-lanceolate or narrow-spathulate Inflorescences axillary, of few-flowered simple dichasia, 4–12 cm long, shortly orange-tawny villose or lanate with ± densely tangled pilose hairs; bracteoles 0.8–2 cm long, narrow-lanceolate or narrow-spathulate.
    Calyx
    Calyx obconical, 5-lobed, gland-dotted, lanate outside, strongly accrescent in fruit; tube 3–4 mm long; lobes 2–3 mm long, erect Calyx obconical, 5-lobed, gland-dotted, lanate outside, strongly accrescent in fruit; tube 3–4 mm long; lobes 2–3 mm long, erect.
    Corolla
    Corolla c. 23 mm long, gland-dotted, villose with tangled pilose hairs and gland-tipped hairs outside, gland-dotted; tube creamy-white and mauve, 12–13 mm long, curved; lobes at acute angle to tube, middle lower lobe mauve, 6–7 × 6.5–7 mm, other lobes creamy-white smaller and rounded or triangular Corolla c. 23 mm long, gland-dotted, villose with tangled pilose hairs and gland-tipped hairs outside, gland-dotted; tube creamy-white and mauve, 12–13 mm long, curved; lobes at acute angle to tube, middle lower lobe mauve, 6–7 × 6.5–7 mm, other lobes creamy-white smaller and rounded or triangular.
    Ovary
    Ovary obovoid, truncate apex and lanate at the apex, gland-dotted; style c. 14–16 mm long, exserted
    Fruits
    Fruit an edible spherical drupe, dark brown to purplish-black at maturity, c. 4 × 3 cm, globose, the lower end not or hardly enclosed in the enlarged calyx; fruiting calyx at first somewhat cup-shaped up to c. 1.5 cm long and c. 1 cm wide, later opening out becoming saucer-shaped, shortly toothed, puberulent, sometimes gland-dotted. Fruit an edible spherical drupe, dark brown to purplish-black at maturity, c. 4 × 3 cm, globose, the lower end not or hardly enclosed in the enlarged calyx; fruiting calyx at first somewhat cup-shaped up to c. 1.5 cm long and c. 1 cm wide, later opening out becoming saucer-shaped, shortly toothed, puberulent, sometimes gland-dotted.
    Ecology
    Deciduous woodland and thickets on Kalahari Sand and on escarpments and rocky outcrops, and in wooded grasslands; 300–1800 m.
    Note
      V. mombassae and V. payos can appear very similar – being similar in leaflet indumentum, inflorescence structure (though often much denser in V. payos ), leaflets broadly lanceolate and often sessile and inflorescences often shorter than the leaves.  However, V. mombassae usually has much more delicate branches, petioles and peduncles.  The leaflet upper surface is bullate in V. mombassae and smooth or slightly bullate in V. payos , the flowers are much larger in V. mombassae (lower lip c. 6–7 mm long and 2–3 mm in V. payos ) with clearly exserted stamens, the bracteoles are lanceolate to spathulate in V. mombassae and linear in V. payos and the calyx teeth c. 3 mm long in V. mombassae and c. 1.5 mm long in V. payos .   V. angolensis Gürke is cited as occurring in Caprivi Strip by Bredenkamp & Botha (Bothalia 26 , 2: 146 (1996)), but no specimens from there have been seen.   V. pooara Corbishley was merged, wrongly in my opinion, with V. mombassae by K. Coates Palgrave in Trees South. Africa: 810 (1977).  For further details on V. pooara see discussion under ‘Doubtful Record’ below.
    Distribution
    Also in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Dem. Rep. Congo, Angola, Namibia and South Africa (Limpopo Province). Caprivi Strip.
    Habit
    Much branched shrub or small deciduous tree up to 8(17) m tall; bark grey-brown, fissured becoming stringy; older branches grey-brown or red-brown pubescent; young branches and twigs densely orange-tawny lanate.
    Leaves
    Leaves 3–5-foliolate, aromatic when crushed; petiole 1.5–9 cm long, terete; petiolules absent or up to 0.6 cm long in median leaflet; leaflets 3–10 × 1.5–6 cm, elliptic to somewhat obovate, rounded or in apical leaves shortly acuminate at the apex, broadly cuneate to rounded at the base, entire, coriaceous, ± sparsely pubescent above, shortly lanate on the nerves and reticulation beneath or glabrescent, gland-dotted beneath, venation impressed above and the blade ± bullate, nerves and reticulation raised beneath. Leaves 3–5-foliolate, aromatic when crushed; petiole 1.5–9 cm long, terete; petiolules absent or up to 0.6 cm long in median leaflet; leaflets 3–10 × 1.5–6 cm, elliptic to somewhat obovate, rounded or in apical leaves shortly acuminate at the apex, broadly cuneate to rounded at the base, entire, coriaceous, ± sparsely pubescent above, shortly lanate on the nerves and reticulation beneath or glabrescent, gland-dotted beneath, venation impressed above and the blade ± bullate, nerves and reticulation raised beneath
    Stamens
    Stamens exserted from corolla tube; filaments with glandular hairs. Stamens exserted from corolla tube; filaments with glandular hairs
    Pistil
    Ovary obovoid, truncate apex and lanate at the apex, gland-dotted; style c. 14–16 mm long, exserted.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Caprivi Strip, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Vitex mombassae Vatke appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Dec 20, 2012 Burrows, J.E. [11183], Mozambique K000823885
    Jan 1, 2009 Burrows, J.E. [11130], Mozambique K000823748
    Jan 1, 2007 Welwitsch, F.M.J. [5731], Angola K000735140 syntype
    Jan 1, 2007 Welwitsch, F.M.J. [5731], Angola K001096703 isotype
    Oct 1, 1999 Buchanan, J. [231], Malawi K000249035 syntype
    Jan 1, 1993 Chapman, J.D. [7468], Malawi K000315172
    Dec 16, 1936 Gillett, J.B. [3320], South Africa K000315178
    Milne-Redhead, E. [8678], Tanzania 28480.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [2835A], Zambia 35053.000
    Gossweiler, J. [1064], Angola K001008429
    Gossweiler, J. [1053], Angola K001008430
    Gossweiler, J. [1056, 1063], Angola K001008431
    Gossweiler, J. [1056], Angola K001008432
    Tanner, R. [447], Tanzania 18109.000
    Robson, N. [1328], Malawi 7299.000
    Chapman, J.D. [5566], Malawi K000315171
    Tawakali, E.J. [1208], Malawi K000315173
    s.coll. [8], Angola K000249036 Unknown type material
    Bamps, P. [4240], Angola K001008433
    Hildebrandt, J.M. [1972] K000192785
    Goetze, W. [85] K000241361
    Schmidt, H.H. [1411], Zambia K000315175
    Smith, P.P. [1544], Zambia K000315176
    Venter, F. [384], Botswana K000315174
    Macuacua, L. [1420], Mozambique K000315177
    Culwick, G.M. [5], Tanzania Vitex flavescens 11721.000

    First published in Linnaea 43: 533 (1882)

    Accepted by

    • Meerts, P. (2018). Synopsis of the genus Vites (Lamiaceae) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Plant Ecology and Evolution 151: 380-392.
    • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.
    • Curtis, B. & Mannheimer, C. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia: 1-688. The National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek.
    • Calane da Silva, M., Izdine, S. & Amuse, A.B. (2004). A Preliminary Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Mozambique: 1-184. SABONET, Pretoria.
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Flora Zambesiaca
    • M. Coates Palgrave, ed. 3 of K. Coates Palgrave, Trees South. Africa: 983 (2002).  TAB. 13 .
    • Kew Bull. 56 : 197 (2001).
    • B.-E. van Wyk, Phot. Guide to Trees of Southern Africa: 317 (2000).
    • Bothalia 26 :146 (1996).
    • S. African J. Bot. 59 : 617 (1993)
    • F.T.E.A., Verbenaceae: 64, fig. 9 (1992).
    • Barnes & Turton, List Fl. Pl. Botswana at Nat. Mus., Sebele & Univ. Botswana: 27 (1986).
    • K. Coates Palgrave, Trees South. Africa: 810 (1977).
    • Kirkia 10 : 272 (1975).
    • White, For. Fl. N. Rhod.: 371 (1962).
    • Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Brit. Emp. 2, Nyasaland: 102 (1958).
    • sensu Topham, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Nyasaland Prot.: 102 (1958).
    • Phytologia 5 : 481 (1955).
    • Estud. Ensaios Doc. Junta Invest. Ci. Ultramar [in Mendonça, Contrib. Conhec. Fl. Moçamb. II]: 173 (1954).
    • J. S. African Bot. 18 : 76 (1952).
    • Brenan, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Tang. Terr.: 642 (1949).
    • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 62 , Beibl. 141: 66 (1928).
    • Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Africa 5 : 459 (1916).
    • F.T.A. 5 : 326 (1900).
    • Engler, Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas C : 339 (1895).
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Vollesen in Opera Bot. 59: 83 (1980).
    • Coates Palgrave, Trees S. Afr.: 810 (1977).
    • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 371 (1962).
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 597 (1961).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 644 (1949).
    • Pieper in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 62, Beibl. 141: 66 (1928).
    • Bak. in Flora of Tropical Africa 5: 326 (1900), pro parte.
    • Gürke in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 339 (1895).
    • Vatke in Linnaea 43: 533 (1882).

    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