Guide to plants of northern and east-central Mali



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Meliaceae


[trees]
Azadiractha

Azadirachta indica 50427 (neem tree) [introduced from India]

records: planted in most towns and villages, the most commonly planted tree in all parts of Mali since about 1980 (JH)

taxonomy: resembles Melia azedarach (not found in West africa), and “Melia” is the basis for some Songhay names


Khaya

Khaya senegalensis 50428 (caïlcédrat tree)

records: Bamako, Niono (Boudet); occasional in nature in Dogon country, once planted all along boulevards in cities and large towns (e.g. Bamako, Segou, road from Sevare to Mopti), aging trees now subject to destruction by wind and disease (JH)

ethnobotany: bark has medicinal uses

native name: known widely as Fulfulde kahi

ethnobotany: bark is a well-known medicinal product (proverbially bitter)




Menispermaceae


[twining lianas, occasionally shrubs, leaves alternate; male and female flowers separate, either on same plant or on separate plants]
Cissampelos

Cissampelos mucronata 50429

records: Gao, Djenné, Labbezanga, Macina (Boudet); Hombori (JH)

habitat: heliophile liana, riverbanks

notes: herbaceous liana; stems pubescent; alternate broad cordiform leaves 4-8 cm x 4-8 cm, tip rounded, usually 7-nerved at base, 2 other nerves branching from upper part of central nerve, pubescent on both sides, petiole 2-4 cm; female flowers in hanging clusters, small male flowers in raceme, both types of flowers accompanied by small leafy bracts; round yellow fruits
Cocculus

Cocculus pendulus 50430

records: Timbuktu, Adrar (Boudet)

habitat: in sands, often on acacia and Balanites

notes: subligneous shrub with branches hanging down or trailing, occasionally twining; alternate leaves oval 3-6 cm x 1.5-4 cm, widest near base, base s.t. auriculate, tip rounded and mucronate, base 3-nerved, leaf glabrous; flowers on short axillary peduncles 0.2 cm, male flower with 3 broad sepals and 6 petals; globular red fruits
Tinospora

Tinospora bakis 50431 (leaves, habit, and medicinal use resemble Aristolochia albida, Aristolochiaceae)

records: Timbuktu, Sanga, Gao, In Tessalit (Boudet); Hombori, Tupere, Kikara, Kubewel, Pergue, Anda, Tongo Tongo (JH)

habitat: in thickets, e.g. on hillsides, often in shade (JH)

notes: twining liana with thick woody root; mature stems greyish with protruding lenticels; cordiform leaf 5-10 cm x 4-8 cm, shiny on topside, tip often attenuated into an obtuse point; small yellow-green male flowers on axillary raceme; juicy red berries in bunches

ethnobotany: roots medicinal but bitter-tasting (cf. Aristolochia)




Menyanthaceae


[false water lilies]
reference: Raynal in Adansonia ser. 2, vol 14, nos. 2 and 3 (1974)
Nymphoides

Nymphoides ezannoi

records: Gourma Rharous (Boudet); none (JH, earlier record for Gao area may refer to N. indica)

habitat: long-standing ponds

notes: leaf 6-10 cm x 6-10 cm, base deeply cordate; 10-20 flowers, corolla with 5 deep lobes; fruit with 4 carpels

taxonomy: African Flowering Plants Database: syn N. indica in the sense of Taylor in FTWA2

Nymphoides indica subsp. occidentalis

records: Ansongo, Gao (Boudet); Labbezanga and near Gao (JH)

habitat: rivers, permanent ponds

taxonomy: “N. indica” in FWTA2 may be based on misidentifications


Mimosaceae (see Fabaceae--Mimosoideae)




Molluginaceae


(recognized as a separate family in APG II; also separate in Berhaut, but in some other classifications combined with Aizoaceae, as in Boudet; for Gisekia see Gisekiaceae)
Glinus

Glinus lotoides 50432

records: Timbuktu, Douentza, Sotuba (Boudet); Douentza, Bore, much more common in far north e.g. Timbuktu (JH)

habitat: damp sandy places, clayey depressions

notes: annual herb spreading out in rosette (spoke-like), highly variable; stems pubescent; leaves of widely varying size appearing verticillate 3-5 per node; leaf obovate-elliptic 2-3 cm x 1-2 cm, both sides silvery due to tomentose pubescence; flowers fasciculate at nodes (no peduncle); capsule with red-black seeds

Glinus oppositifolius 50431

records: Djenne, Timbuktu (Boudet)

habitat: wet sand with limestone

notes: spreading or prostrate herb; stems mostly glabrous; leaves dark green, appearing verticillate e.g. 6 per node of different sizes, somewhat slender leaf elliptical or ovobate-elliptic 2-3.5 cm x 0.3-0.6 cm; greenish-white flowers in axillary fascicles on peduncles nearly as long as the longer leaves; capsule with brownish seeds

Glinus radiatus

records: Koulikoro (Boudet)

notes: herb spreading out in rosette; stems often violet with dense pubescence looking whitish at edges; leaves usually opposite by 2 (less often appearing verticillate with 4 other smaller leaves at the same node); small leaves, obovate or obovate-orbicular (nearly circular) 1-2 cm x 0.5-1 cm; subsessile flowers fasciculated in bunches at nodes (no peduncle), sepals purple-green; capsule with red seeds


Limeum

key:


fruits broadly winged (pterocarpum)

fruits not winged

leaves linear, glabrous (diffusum)

leaves more rounded

large leaf 0.8-2.5 cm x 1 cm, leaves alternate (viscosum)

small leaf 0.4-0.8 cm x 0.3-0.7 cm, leaves more or less opposite (obovatum)


Limeum diffusum

records: Timbuktu, Goundam, Gossi (Boudet)

habitat: fixed sands

notes: small erect plant 15-25 cm; stem slightly angular; alternate linear leaves 1.5-2.5 cm x 0.2-0.3 cm, glabrous, sessile green flowers by 3-6 opposite a leaf; spherical grain with two hemispheric carpels



Limeum indicum (see L. obovatum)

Limeum obovatum (syn L. indicum) [not in Berhaut]

records: Adrar, Gao (Boudet)

habitat: sand

notes: [Flore du Sahara] small obovate leaves

reference: drawing in Flore du Sahara

Limeum pterocarpum var. pterocarpum 50434

records: Timbuktu, Bandiagara, Gao, Tikimsa (Boudet); Boni, Kubewel, Bounou (JH)

habitat: fields, waste places, fixed dunes

notes: diffusely erect herb to 50 cm high; leaf linear-elliptic 3-5 cm x 0.3-0.8 cm, glabrous; flower white, on a peduncle oppose a single leaf; winged capsule, circular 1-1.2 cm diameter, with one seed covered by a central thorn on each side

Limeum viscosum var. viscosum

records: Timbuktu, Hombori, Gourma Rharous (Boudet)

habitat: fixed dunes

notes: erect or spreading herb 15-30 cm; leaves sticky due to little glandular points, opposite obovate leaves; flowers in small corymbs on short peduncle opposite a leaf; grain with 2 carpels


Mollugo

Mollugo cerviana

records: Adrar, Kidal, Djenne, Bandiagara, Sotuba (Boudet)

habitat: moist sand

notes: erect herb 6-15 cm, with rosette of larger leaves at base, plus small linear leaves 1 1.5 cm long verticillate by 3-6 at branching nodes of stem; tiny terminal white flowers often by 3-4 only at ends of stem; small capsules

reference: Flore du Sahara

Mollugo nudicaulis 50435

records: Gao, San, Bandiagara, Macina, Tin Ahora (Boudet); Hombori, Boni, Bendiely, Segue (JH)

habitat: grassy savanna

notes: annual herb; leaves form a rosette low to the ground, no leaves on branching nodes of stem; flowering stem to 25 cm high, flowers in corymbiform cyme; small capsule

ethnobotany: rubbed in water to make soapy liquid for washing clothes (Bendiely, especially Fulbe)

Mollugo verticillata

records: San, Sotuba

habitat: wet sand of receding rivers

notes: herb 20-25 cm; verticillate rosettes of oblanceolate leaves at branching nodes of stem; flowers fasciculate by 3-5 at each branching node; capsule with red seeds


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