Africa Wild Tree & Shrub Book - Order Malvales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:31 pm

Index to Trees & Shrubs in the Order Malvales

Family: Malvaceae (Cotton Family)
467. Adansonia digitata Baobab viewtopic.php?f=248&t=3761&p=171670#p171670
X707. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Chinese Cotton Rose viewtopic.php?f=248&t=3761&p=171672#p171672
464. Hibiscus tiliaceus tiliaceus Lagoon Hibiscus, Wild Cottontree viewtopic.php?p=298480#p298480

Re: Africa Wild Tree & Shrub Book - Order Malvales

Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:21 am

467. Baobab Adansonia digitata
Order: Malvales. Family: Malvaceae

Image

Description
The main stem of larger baobab trees may reach enormous proportions of up to 28 m in girth. Although baobab trees seldom exceed a height of 25 m. The massive, usually squat cylindrical trunk gives rise to thick tapering branches resembling a root-system, which is why it has often been referred to as the upside-down tree. There is a tale which tells of how God planted them upside-down. Many traditional Africans believe that the baobab actually grows upside-down.
The stem is covered with a bark layer, which may be 50-100 mm thick. The bark is greyish brown and normally smooth but can often be variously folded and seamed from years of growth. The leaves are hand-sized and divided into 5-7 finger-like leaflets. Being deciduous, the leaves are dropped during the winter months and appear again in late spring or early summer.
The large, pendulous flowers (up to 20cm in diameter) are white and sweetly scented. They emerge in the late afternoon from large round buds on long drooping stalks from October to December. The flowers fall within 24 hours, turning brown and smelling quite unpleasant. Pollination by fruit bats takes place at night.
The fruit is a large, egg-shaped capsule (often >12cm), covered with a yellowish brown hairs. The fruit consists of a hard, woody outer shell with a dry, powdery substance inside that covers the hard, black, kidney-shaped seeds. The off-white, powdery substance is apparently rich in ascorbic acid. It is this white powdery substance which is soaked in water to provide a refreshing drink somewhat reminiscent of lemonade. This drink is also used to treat fevers and other complaints.
This tree is slow growing, mainly due to the low rainfall it receives.

Distribution
The baobab tree is found in areas of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and other tropical African countries where suitable habitat occurs. In South Africa it is found only in the warm parts of the Limpopo Province.

Habitat
It is restricted to hot, dry woodland on stoney, well drained soils, in frost-free areas that receive low rainfall.

Links: Wild About Trees; SAPPI Tree Spotting - Lowveld

Image © Toko

Image © Lisbeth

Image © leachy

Image © BluTuna
Kruger National Park

Image © Pumbaa
Kruger National Park

Image © nan
Kruger National Park, H14

Re: Africa Wild Tree & Shrub Book - Order Malvales

Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:24 am

X707. Rose Mallow, Chinese Hibiscus, China Rose, Chinese Cotton Rose Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Order: Malvales. Family: Malvaceae

Image © mposthumus

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park, Pretoriuskop Camp

Description
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5–5 m tall and 1.5–3 m wide, with glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. The 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers.

Distribution
This is a garden species, not native to South Africa, the most commonly grown species of Hibiscus in South African gardens. Native to tropical Asia and China. It is common in KwaZulu-Natal, so much so that part of the southern coast is named after this flower.

Links: Bill Sheat, Gerald Schofield: Complete Gardening in Southern Africa

Re: Africa Wild Tree & Shrub Book - Order Malvales

Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:32 pm

464. Lagoon Hibiscus, Wild Cottontree Hibiscus tiliaceus tiliaceus (Katoenboom)
Order: Malvales. Family: Malvaceae

Image

Image
St. Lucia

Description
A large, stout, open-branched shrub or small tree with spreading branches. It grows to a height of 3–6 m. Stems long and flexible. Young branches, buds and flowers densely covered with short soft hairs. Bark pale greyish brown, smooth or with lenticels (small corky dots on young stems allowing gas exchange between plant and environment), becoming rough with age.
Large dark green simple leaves are heart-shaped to almost circular, or broader than long, 30–150 mm in diameter or larger; 5- to 9-veined from the base, veins prominent, each of the main veins with a slit or elongated gland near the base; velvety white to greyish, densely and finely tomentose below, olive-green and glabrescent (becoming hairless) on the upper surface; apex abruptly pointed; base deeply lobed; margins entire or minutely toothed; petiole (leaf stalk) up to120 mm long, with stellate (star-shaped) hairs, sometimes hairless; stipules (small appendages at the base of leaves) broad, up to about 30 x 15 mm, ovate-cordate, caducous (falling off during the life of the organism), sheathing the stem, falling off early to leave a scar almost all the way around the stem. The inflorescence seems to be cymose (as in an inflorescence in which the main axis and all side branches end in a flower) but the apparently terminal flowers are really axillary (arising from the axil of a leaf). Bracts (modified leaves associated with flower) ovate; paired with the stipules, each pair occupies the complete circumference of the stem leaving a circular scar after falling off.
Flowers large, showy, up to 120 mm in diameter, yellow with dark maroon or blackish centre, deepen to orange or apricot as they mature, flowers fading after 1 day and turn orange-red before they are shed. Flowers have five free petals 60 –70 x 40–60 mm, obovate, twisted. the stamens many, united into a distinctive tube up to 25 mm long around the style.
Fruit an ovoid or subglobose capsule, tapering to the apex, 20–25 mm long, covered with golden hairs. Seeds almost kidney-shaped, 4.5 x 3 mm, smooth.

Distribution
It occurs along the coast from the Eastern Cape to Zululand and extends into the tropics.

Habitat
Widespread along the sea shore on margins of watercourses or in tidal zone thickets. It fringes estuaries and coastal areas along rivers and lagoons. It usually occupies higher ground than the mangroves.