Guide to plants of northern and east-central Mali

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Polygala arenaria 50570

records: Sanga, southern Mali (Boudet); Walo (JH)

habitat: psammophile (sun-seeking) annual in south, farther north in edges of drying floodplains

notes: flowers and fruits appear in winter

Polygala erioptera

records: Timbuktu, Tabankort to Kidal, Dire to Bandiagara (Boudet)

habitat: like P. arenaria but more sahelian

Polygala irregularis

records: Timbuktu, Tagant Keina (Boudet)

habitat: fixed dunes


Securidaca longepedunculata 50694

records: Bamako, Segou (Boudet); Kundialang (planted) (JH)

ethnobotany: well-known beyond its range, as bark and leaves are sold in markets for medicine (snakebite, headaches) (JH)


[alternate simple leaves with sheathing ochrear stipules]

ochrea on stem

Calligonum comosum [see Boudet p. 434, Supplement]

records: near Algerian border (Boudet)

habitat: desert scrub, mostly North African desert

notes: branching bushy plant to 1.2 m

Emex spinosa [introduced weed]

records: Bamba (ruderal in village), central Saharan oases (Boudet)

notes: fruit with several thorny spines


Persicaria decipiens 50571 (syn Polygonum salicifolium)

notes: ochrea with distinct long cilia at apex; leaf glabrous underneath except on margin and middle vein, linear-lanceolate up to 15 cm x 1-5 cm, broad, abruptly narrowed into short petiole; inflorescence lax and slender, flowers not densely crowded

ethnobotany: soft root material used as tinder for flint lighters

Persicaria limbata (syn Polygonum limbatum [thus FWTA2])

records: Mopti, Niafunke (Boudet)

habitat: swamps

notes: perennial, 3-4 feet long, more or less ascending, may form mats; stems hollow, ochrea with a spreading or recurved herbaceous ciliate limb, long-pilose on the outside; leaf linear-lanceolate to 10 cm x 2 cm; racemes densely flowered, flowers pinkish white; fruit a small smooth shiny nut, reddish-brown to black`

reference: illustration in FWTA2 1.1, p. 141

Persicaria senegalensis (syn Polygonum senegalense, P. lanigerum var. africanum, P. lanatum)

records: Niger R. near Gao (JH)

forma senegalensis: Djenne (Boudet) [syn Polygonum senegalense]

forma albotomentosa 50572: Mopti, Diafarabe, Niafunke (Boudet) [syn Polygonum lanigerum var. africanum]

notes (forma albotomentosa [syn Polygonum lanigerum var. africanum]): aquatic; robust perennial herb to 2m; few or no cilea at apex of ochrea; leaves white and woolly beneath with hairs closely matted, lanceolate 10-30 cm x 2-5 cm, petiole 2-4 cm as leaf narrows, leaf apex acutely acuminate, leaf more or less glabrous; flowers pink and white

notes (forma senegalensis [syn Polygonum senegalense]): robust perennial herb to 3m, erect or semi-decumbent; cilia at apex of ochrea absent or small and weak; leaf elongate ovate-lanceolate 15-20 cm x 3-5 cm, glutinous, grey-tomentose; leaves more or less glabrous

habitat: often in water

references: FWTA2 1.1 p. 140 re Polygonum senegalense and Polygonum lanigerum var. africanum

Polygonum lanatum (see Persicaria senegalensis)

Polygonum lanigerum var. africanum (see Persicaria senegalensis)

Polygonum limbatum (see Persicaria limbata)

Polygonum plebeium (knotweed)

notes: much-branched, prostrate annual herb; leaves oblong or linear-oblong, subsessile, acute, 0.5-1 cm x 0.2-0.3 cm with revolute margins; ochrea white; flowers ssolitary or in axillary clusters; nutleg smooth and shining

habitat: drying mud-flats and river beds

reference: Boulos, Flora of Egypt vol 1, p. 28

Polygonum salicifolium (see Persicaria decipiens)

Polygonum senegalense (fsee Persicaria senegalensis):

Rumex dentatus [introduced weed] [get description] [not at CIRAD]

records: El Oualadji, Dire (Boudet)

habitat: weed in irrigated fields and along irrigation canals

notes: leaves hastate, more or less triangular, acuminate, 6-15 cm x 15 cm, flowers in much-branched panicles, persistent perianth segments

reference: Boulos, Fl. Egypt, vol 1, p. 31


[plants of shallow inundated areas with broad, very glossy leaves]

Eichhornia natans

records: Bourem, Kabara, Gao, Sotuba (Boudet); previous record for Kikara probably a misidentification of Heteranthera callifolia (JH)

habitat: aquatic, upper leaves floating

notes: herb; submerged and floating leaves very different; submerged leaves linear 3-6 cm, floating leaves long-petiolate, ovate to ovate-orbicular and cordate at the base, 1.5-2.5 cm long, minutely pustulate on the surface, many close nerves below; flowers solitary; 6 stamens

reference: drawing in FWTA2 vol. 3, p. 110


Heteranthera callifolia 50573

records: Gao, Niono, Dogo (Boudet); Kikara, Beni, Douentza (JH)

habitat: aquatic (Boudet); lightly inundated edges of ponds (JH)

notes: herb; leaves all alike; leaves petiolate, ovate to lanceolate, cordate to rounded at base, 5-7 cm x 1.5 cm, glabrous, numerous slender nerves ascending from the base; petiole sheathing at the base and embracing the capsule; few flowers, spicate; stamens 3 or reduced to 1

ethnobotany: sometimes called "false water lily" in native languages


Monochoria brevipetiolata 50574 (close to M. africana = M. vaginalis var. africana)

records: Sangha, Niono (Boudet)

habitat: ponds

notes: basal leaves reduced to membranous sheaths; leaves narrowly lanceolate, acutely acuminate, 6 cm x 1 cm, narrowed into a false petiole about as long as the blade; racemes at first embraced by the leaf-sheath, then exserted, 8-12 flowered; stout pedicels 0.4 cm long; stamens 6; fruit capsule enclosed by the persistent perianth

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