Guide to plants of northern and east-central Mali



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Algae

We do not break down algae by family/species as there is only one taxon for 'algae, pond scum' in local native languages. It includes some flowering plants (Najas, Utricularia).



Ferns (pteridophytes)

only Marsilea sp. floating in ponds, and Actiniopteris radiata on inselbergs, are common in Dogon country to our current knowledge. Christella was found at Kikara.


Actiniopteridaceae
Actiniopteris

Actiniopteris radiata 50002

records: Hombori, SE Douentza (Boudet); Kikara (JH)

habitat: the typical fern of inselbergs

notes: unusual "monkey-hand" shape
Adiantaceae or Pteridaceae
Adiantum (classic ferns)

Adiantum capillus-veneris (“banksianum”)

habitat: wet areas around rocks

Adiantum philippense

records: Bamako, Kita, Koulikoro (Boudet); pantropical

habitat: cool soil in shade, s.t. on rocks

Rhizome short, suberect or creeping with tufted fronds and with dark-brown subulate rhizome-scales c. 3 mm. long. Stipe castaneous, up to 15 cm. long, glabrous. Frond arching, herbaceous, often proliferous at the apex. Lamina up to 42 x9.5 cm., lanceolate in outline, pinnate; pinnae up to 2 x 4.6 cm., mostly very broadly oblong to rhombic, more reduced and obcuneate towards the apex of the frond, borne on slender castaneous petioles up to 1.8 cm. long, shallowly incised along the acroscopic margin into truncate lobes, glabrous on both surfaces. Sori borne on the apices of the pinna lobes; indusial flaps up to 2 cm. long, linear to shallowly lunate, glabrous.

Adiantum schweinfurthii

records: Tabacco (Boudet)

habitat: shady ravine edges


Azollaceae
Azolla (tiny, floating)

Azolla africana

records: Gao, Sendegue (Boudet)

habitat: floating


Lomariopsidaceae
Bolbitis

Bolbitis heudelotii

records: Fincolo (Niger Buckle) (Boudet)

habitat: rocks with running water


Marsileaceae
Marsilea (aquatic clover, 4-leafed, leaves may float on surface)

Marsilea aegyptiaca

records: Koublik (Boudet); Southern Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt

habitat: able to survive long droughts



Marsilea credulata (see M. minuta)

Marsilea fimbriata (see M. minuta)

Marsilea gibba [not in African Flowering Plants Database]

records: Gao (Boudet)

habitat: alongside watercourses, dry depressions



Marsilea gymnocarpa (see M. nubica)

Marsilea minuta 50003 (syns M. crenulata, M. fimbriata)

records: Sotuba, Korofina (Boudet)

habitat: drying mud, rice fields, rocks near waterfalls, often in colonies

Marsilea nubica (syn M. gymnocarpa) [not in African Flowering Plants Database]

records: Timbuktu, Gao, Dogo (Boudet)

habitat: shallow depressions, wet sands, often in colonies

Marsilea sp. (perhaps M. minuta)

record: Adia (Najamba language area), Anda, Boussouma (with Typha) (JH)
Thelypteridaceae
Christella

Christella dentata 50004 (syn Thelypteris dentata)

records: Koulikoro (Boudet); Kikara (JH, if ID correct)

habitat: ravine

note: classic fern, highly dentate leaf edge

description < Flora Zambesica online 2007:

Rhizome c. 7 mm. in diam., creeping, with fronds closely spaced and with dark-brown ovate to lanceolate acuminate entire thinly pilose rhizome-scales up to 6 mm. long. Frond arching, non-proliferous, herbaceous. Stipe up to 20 cm. long, pale-brown to greyish-brown, glabrous, thinly pubescent with minute white hairs and with lanceolate scales about the base similar to those on the rhizome. Lamina up to 1.3 x 0.4 m., pinnate, elliptic to narrowly elliptic in outline, apex acuminate with a deeply pinnatifid terminal segment, lower pinnae gradually decrescent; middle pinnae up to 21 x 2.2 cm., very narrowly oblong or attenuate with a long linear acuminate shallowly crenate apex, deeply pinnatifid into oblong slightly falcate obtuse to acute entire lobes, up to 5 mm. broad, pilose along the costa with a few scattered hairs on the costules and veins ventrally, thinly pubescent with minute white hairs on the costae and costules dorsally and along the margins and with even smaller hairs on the lamina; 1 or more pairs of veins (usually a pair and a single vein) anastomosing at and below the sinus. Rhachis pale-brown, pilose with stiff often curved hairs and thinly pubescent with minute white hairs. Sori circular, up to 14 per segment, borne 1/2-way between the costule and the margin; indusium up to 1 mm. in diam., pilose with short white hairs.

taxonomy: Kikara specimen needs to be checked against Christella (Thelypteris) and Adiantum


Cyclosorus

Cyclosorus dentatus (see Christella dentata [given as syn in Boudet])

[but AFPD appears to distinguish the two, with Cyclosorus accepted for N Africa]

Cyclosorus striatus

records: Sikasso (Boudet)

habitat: swampy prairies, forest galleries


Thelypteris

Thelypteris dentata (see Christella dentata)

Fungi

Podaxis pistillaris 50005 (puffball)

white, emerges from the earth as an erect shaft, crumbles at the touch.

records: widespread in Dogon country (JH)

native terms: often called “donkey penis” or the like by Dogon and montane Songhay
capped mushrooms 50006

usually just one term for all other mushrooms (terrestrial or arboreal), sometimes also merged terminologically with Podaxis.



Lichens

Pseudevernia

Pseudevernia furfuracea 50680

records: sold in markets (Timbuktu, Gao, Hombori, Douentza) (JH_

ethnobotany: these dried lichens, in dried form, are a prized spice in Timbuktu-Gao cuisine; sold in Douentza and Mopti markets but not generally known to Dogon.

Taxonomy of flowering plants (APG II system)
(for updates see Wikipedia or other sites)

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