Guide to plants of northern and east-central Mali



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Sphenocleaceae

Sphenoclea

Sphenoclea zeylanica 50635

records: Beni, Walo, Adia (JH)

notes: herb; leaf lanceolate 10 cm x 3 cm, glabrous; terminal spiciform flower spike (cf. Nelsonia canescens, Acanthaceae); spike turns orange when mature

ref.: illustration FWTA2 p. 308




Sterculiaceae


[now s.t. included under Malvaceae s.l. as tribe Sterculioideae]
Cola [trees]

imported kola nuts 50640

Cola acuminata 50636

notes (FWTA2 vol 1 p. 325): fruiting carpels russet-brown or olivaceous, surface rough to touch owing to a minute indumentum, but not knobbly, up to 20 cm x 6 cm, narrowed to apex, upper suture not conspicuously ridged, apex not deflexed (bent over)

Cola nitida 50639

notes (FWTA2 vol 1 p. 325): fruiting carpels green and shiny, surface smooth to touch but knobbly with large tubercles, up to 13 cm x 7 cm, upper suture forming a conspicuous ridge produced into a short deflexed beak

wild

Cola cordifolia 50637

records: Bamako, Sanga (Boudet); Kikara, Beni, Anda (JH)

habitat: shrubby savanna

notes: wide-branching tree; very broad leaves; fruits in clusters of 4 or so radiating out

ethnobotany: seeds edible (sugary)

Cola laurifolia 50638

records: Mopti to Djenne, Macina (Boudet); Kubewel, Anda, Bounou, Kikara (JH)

habitat: riverbanks

notes: wide-branching tree; elliptic leaves; fruits in clusters of 8 or so


Melhania

Melhania denhamii (Saharan)

records: Timbuktu, Tibart (Boudet)

habitat: sand

notes: small shrublet, woody at the base; branches and leaves softly stellate-tomentose; leaves ovate-elliptic, subcordate at base, rounded or truncate at apex, 3 cm x 1.5 cm, crenate-serrate; flowers axillary, solitary, enclosed in 3 large bracteoles; small capsule

reference: Fl Egypt vol 2 p. 113


Melochia (resemble Waltheria but capsules 5-valved)

Melochia bracteosa (see M. melissifolia var. microphylla)

Melochia corchorifolia 50641

records: Gourma Rharous, Gossi, Koulikoro, Gao (Boudet); Bore, Bounou, Boro, fairly common at pond margins in Dogon country especially on the plateau, also very common along Niger R. in northern Mali (JH)

habitat: sandy-clayey or clayey inundatable zones

notes: usually erect herb or undershrub, 1.5-2 feet, hollow stems; petiole 1/3 to 1/2 as long as leaf blade; flowers in terminal clusters, flowers small, white or s.t. yellowish or pinkish

Melochia melissifolia var. microphylla (possibly = M. bracteosa)

records: Yanfolila (Boudet)

habitat: wooded savanna

notes: erect herb; petioles very short; flowers axillary
Sterculia

Sterculia setigera 5063

records: Bamako, Bandiagara to Mopti, Niono (Boudet); Diangassagou to Segue, unknown in northern Dogon country (JH)

habitat: skeletal soils

notes: tree to 40 feet; bark rough, yielding a white gum; flowers dull red or yellowish-green with red streaks, appearing before new foliage; fruiting carpels 4-5, grey to brownish outside

ethnobotany: gum (resin) commercialized in southern Mali


Waltheria (resembles Melochia)

Waltheria indica

records: Gossi, Timbuktu, Gao, Sanga, Koulikoro (Boudet); common throughout Songhay and northern Dogon country (JH)

habitat: moist sand in depressions

notes: erect herb, entire plant covered by soft long hairs; capsule 2-valved

native name: often called “mother/cousin of fire” or the like (said to grow quickly after bush fires)




Taccaceae (see Dioscoreaceae)




Tamaricaceae

Tamarix (evergreen trees, native to Sahara)

Tamarix amplexicaulis (syns T. balansae, T. pauciovulata)

records: Kessert Gani (Boudet)

habitat: oueds

notes: larger tree, usually wider than tall

Tamarix aphylla (syn T. orientalis, T. articulata)

records: Kessert Gani (Boudet)

habitat: oueds

notes: larger tree

Tamarix gallica

records: none (Boudet); common in southern Algeria

[comment on Sahara-Nature website Jan 2008: “Le nom tamahaq Azaoua donné à Tamarix pauciavulata J. Gay, est également le nom donné à Tamarix gallica (L.) ”]


Tiliaceae


[now s.t. included under Malvaceae s.l. in tribe Grewioideae]
Corchorus 50647 (herbs, flowers yellow)

[herbs used in preparation of Songhay-style dark green fakou-hoy sauce]

key (FWTA2 vol 1 p. 308)

leaf-blade 0.5-2 cm long, ± long as or shorter than petiole, woody, prostrate depressus

leaf-blade much longer than petiole

leaf w.o. basal hair-like auricle, up to 10 cm x 0.5-1.5 cm fascicularis

leaf usually with such auricle

capsule with 3 divergent beaks at the apex, valves not clearly ridged inside

leaf ovate(-lanceolate) 3-6 cm x 2-3 cm, pods winged 1.5-2.5 cm aestuans

leaf (linear-)lanceolate 3-9 cm x 1-1.5 cm, pods 2.5-3.5 cm tridens

capsule with entire beak, valves with transverse ridges inside

capsule 5-valved, leaf (ovate-)lanceolate up to 20 cm x 7 cm olitorius

capsule 3-valved, leaf elliptic or ovate-lanceolate 4-8 cm x 1-1.5 cm trilocularis
Corchorus acutangulus (see C. aestuans)

Corchorus aestuans 50644 (syn C. acutangulus)

records: Macina (Boudet); Segue (JH)

habitat: grassy savanna, fallow land, sandy riverbeds, etc.

notes: branching annual (or perennial), some branches tend to be prostrate; leaves with basal hair-like auricles; leaf ovate(-lanceolate) 3-6 cm x 2-3 cm (i.e. broader than C. tridens); pods acutely winged 1.5-2.5 cm long, fairly stout; capsule with 3 divergent beaks at the apex, valves without distinct distinct transverse ridges inside

Corchorus depressus

records: Timbuktu, Gao, Tabankort-Kidal (Boudet)

habitat: desert, dry regions

notes: prostrate herb 30 cm long, woody branches, taproot may be thick; short leaf-blade 0.5-2 cm long, petiole about as long as or longer than leaf blade; subsessile fruits 2 cm long, beaked, breaking into 4 valves

reference: Fl Egypt vol. 2 p. 88; Flore du Sahara (2nd ed) p. 560

Corchorus fascicularis

records: Macina, Gao, south (Boudet)

habitat: variable

notes: herb, branches often lax, to 4 feet high; leaf without basal hairlike auricle, up to 10 cm x 0.5-1.5 cm; fruits shortly beaked 1-1.5 cm long, in fascicles; valves not septate (=partitioned) within

reference: Adventices

Corchorus olitorius (cultivated or wild)

records (wild): Douentza, Beni, Bounou (JH)

notes: erect or prostrate annual herb 0.6-2 m tall, often woody at base; long leaf up to 20 cm x 7 cm (much bigger than C. trilocularis), (ovate )lanceolate, with basal hairlike auricle; stout 5-valved capsule 3-6 cm long, abruptly narrowed to the apex, beak entire, distinct transverse ridges inside valves

ethnobotany: preferred leaves for fakou-hoy sauce, cultivated by Songhay for this purpose

reference: Adventices, Fl Egypt vol. 2 p. 88

Corchorus tridens

records: Niono, Timbuktu, Gao, Adrar, Bamako, Nioro du Sahel (Boudet); Tupere, Sevare, Segue, fairly common in Dogon country (JH)

habitat: woodland and bushland, usually in shade, many soil types

notes: annual herb 0.2-1 m tall, usually erect but with older branches spreading; leaves with basal hair-like auricles; leaf lanceolate or linear-lanceolate 3-9 cm x 1-1.5 cm (i.e. narrower than C. aestuans); capsule with 3 divergent beaks at the apex, valves without distinct distinct transverse ridges inside

reference: Adventices; Fl Egypt vol. 2 p. 89

Corchorus trilocularis

records: Adrar (Boudet)

habitat: grassland, weed of cultivation

notes: annual (or perennial) herb to 1-1.5 m tall, herbaceous or woody, erect and branching or sometimes with decumbent branches if browsed; leaf elliptic to oblong-lanceolate 4-8 cm x 1-1.5 cm (much smaller than C. olitorius); leaves with basal hair-like auricles; slender 3-valved capsule 3-6 cm long, gradually narrowed to apex; beak entire, distinct transverse ridges inside valves

reference: Fl Egypt vol 2 p. 89


Grewia 50652 (shrubs)

Grewia bicolor 50649

records: Timbuktu, Niono, Sanga, Gossi, Mopti to San (Boudet); Hombori (near hills), widespread in Dogon country

habitat: clayey depressions, base of hills

notes: shrub; leaves has conspicuous color difference, topside dark green, underside whitish; leaf margin very finely denticulate (hard to see dentations)

ethnobotany: leaves sold in towns (e.g. Douentza) as fodder; wood used

Grewia flavescens var. flavescens 50650

records: Sanga, Tikimsa, Menaka (Boudet); Hombori, Kikara, Pergue, generally known in Dogon country (JH)

habitat: rocky hills

notes: shrub; leaves less wide than G. lasiodiscus, dentation of leaf margin conspicuous, numerous fruits

ethnobotany: edible fruit (best of the Grewia spp.), sold in some markets

Grewia lasiodiscus 50651

records: Bamako, Koulouba (Boudet); Tabi (rare), Kubewel (JH)

habitat: savanna

notes: shrub; leaves wider than those of G. flavescens, fruits somewhat isolated

ethnobotany: fruits edible, branches medicinal (excessive cutting has killed many of the remaining shrubs)

Grewia tenax 50653

records: Sahara, Timbuktu, Gao, lac Debo, Douentza, Bandiagara to Dire (Boudet); Tabi, Kubewel (JH)

notes: shrub; very small leaves, tiny red fruits 2-4 stuck together

Grewia villosa 50654

records: Menaka, Gao, Douentza-Hombori (Boudet); Hombori, Kikara, Pergue, Kubewel (JH)

habitat: clayey depressions, often with stones

notes: shrub; very large leaf, nearly circular, coarse and hairy
Triumfetta

Triumfetta pentandra

records: Djenne, Sanga, San, Koulikoro (Boudet); Nando, Konna (JH)

habitat: clayey and sandy-clayey depressions, in the shade, roadsides

notes: erect herb, leaves alternate, margins dentate, tip gently pointed, leaves at base roughly oval with red petioles, leaves at top smaller, less wide, and more or less sessile; axillary clusters of orange-yellow flowers becoming burr-like fruits

ref.: Adventrop




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