1. Family: Malvaceae Juss.
    1. Cola Schott & Endl.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa.

    [FTEA]

    Sterculiaceae, Martin Cheek & Laurence Dorr; Nesogordonia, Laurence Dorr, Lisa Barnett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2007

    Habit
    Monoecious perhaps sometimes dioecious, evergreen or rarely deciduous trees or shrubs
    Stem
    Stems often white and glabrous; bud-scales usually markedly caducous
    Leaves
    Leaves simple, elliptic to oblanceolate, rarely ± orbicular and then digitately lobed, usually entirely glabrous, entire, venation finely reticulate; petiole usually swollen and kneed at base and apex, usually very variable in length on a single stem
    Stipules
    Stipules usually caducous
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences often from leafless axils of the stem, sometimes cauliflorous, short racemose, paniculate or fasciculate with flowers each on an articulated stalk (the upper part the pedicel, the lower peduncle) with bracts basal and often deeply bilobed
    Flowers
    Flowers with a single perianth whorl united at the base, valvate in bud Female flowers with apparently indehiscent, subsessile stamens forming a ring around the base of the ovary; ovary subsessile, subglobose or ellipsoid, 3–5-locular, densely hairy, the style usually very short, the stigma with pronounced lobes, as many as the carpels. Male flowers with androphore and head of 4–12 anthers, each with 2 separate thecae in one, or two ( C gigantea) rows, gynoecium vestigial, inconspicuous
    Female
    Female flowers with apparently indehiscent, subsessile stamens forming a ring around the base of the ovary; ovary subsessile, subglobose or ellipsoid, 3–5-locular, densely hairy, the style usually very short, the stigma with pronounced lobes, as many as the carpels.
    Male
    Male flowers with androphore and head of 4–12 anthers, each with 2 separate thecae in one, or two ( C gigantea) rows, gynoecium vestigial, inconspicuous
    Fruits
    Fruit carpels separated, each developing into indehiscent follicles or berries, each ± globose to cylindrical, pericarp firm or fleshy, inner surface glabrous, bearing 1–10 seeds
    Seeds
    Seeds lacking an aril, embryo orientated towards hilum
    Ecology
    About 125 species, restricted to evergreen forest in continental Africa. Most numerous in Guineo-Congolian Africa, but with an important secondary area of diversity in coastal eastern Africa (± 20 native species) where many of the taxa have very limited distribution, each sometimes occurring in only one or two forests.
    Note
    This account is based on the work of Brenan who described nearly half the species in East Africa and whose account of ‘The genus Cola in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika’ (K.B. 11: 141, 1956) was a major step in unravelling the species of this area. In the last twenty years, since Brenan ceased work on Cola, botanical inventory work in the lowland coastal forests of Tanzania, notably by Quentin Luke, has brought to light five new species, four of which are newly described in this account. In addition a new name is provided for the Kenyan species previously known as C. clavata. Although in the allied genus Sterculia, vegetative characters, particularly leaf indumentum, are always very useful for distinguishing species, this is not so in Cola where vegetative characters are generally rather uniform. Intermittent flowering has further hampered studies in the genus. In East Africa trees often seem not to flower every year (Vollesen pers. comm.). Many species are known from very few fertile collections and in several species fruits are unknown. Some apparently dioecious trees can also produce flowers of the opposite sex earlier or later in the season or from different parts of the stem (see Brenan in K.B. 40: 87 (1985)). Many species of Cola are separated by obscure diagnostic floral characters and are consequently frequently misidentified.
    [FZ]

    Sterculiaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:2. 1961

    Habit
    Trees with entire, palmatilobed or digitately divided, petiolate leaves; petioles often with a swollen apical pulvinus, sometimes swollen at the base also.
    Flowers
    Flowers unisexual or polygamous, usually dioecious, in axillary racemes, panicles or fascicles; pedicels usually articulated. Female flower: carpels (3) 4–5 (10) coherent; ovules 2-°o per carpel; styles as many as the loculi but often united into a single column; stigmas equalling the number of carpels. Male flower: anthers 5–12 in 1 or apparently 2 superposed rings on an androphore; vestigial carpels often sunk in the top of the androphore.
    Calyx
    Calyx 4–5 (6)-lobed.
    Corolla
    Petals absent.
    Fruits
    Fruit of 3-several (or fewer by abortion) leathery or woody carpels finally splitting lengthwise.
    Seeds
    Seeds 1–?, without endosperm; cotyledons thick, 2 (in our species) or more.
    [FTEA]
    Use
    Several West African species are cultivated in East Africa for their edible seeds (‘cola nuts’) which induce a feeling of alertness, well-being and contentment. The most valued species are C. nitida and C. acuminata, both widely cultivated, medium-sized trees with white flowers ± 2.5 cm across, each perianth lobe having a red basal marking.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Burkina, Cabinda, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Trinidad-Tobago, Windward Is.

    Cola Schott & Endl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1986 Thomas, D.W. [4712], Cameroon K000094666
    Nigeria 18924.000
    Cameroon 22644.000
    Olorunfemi, J. [FHI 30672], Cameroon K000094662
    Olorunfemi, J. [FHI 30672], Cameroon K000094663
    Thomas, D.W. [5568], Cameroon K000094670
    Thomas, D.W. [6899], Cameroon K000094671
    Thomas, D.W. [6705], Cameroon K000094674
    Thomas, D.W. [6924], Cameroon K000094675
    Thomas, D.W. [5624], Cameroon K000094676
    Thomas, D.W. [6704], Cameroon K000094677
    Thomas, D.W. [3206], Cameroon K000094667
    Thomas, D.W. [4704], Cameroon K000094668
    Fay, J.M. [8670], Central African Republic 60370.000
    Harris, D.J. [2486A], Cameroon 60057.000
    Harris, D.J. [2477], Cameroon 62932.000
    Harris, D.J. [1199], Central African Republic 63372.000
    Harris, D.J. [2842], Cameroon 73287.000
    Letouzey, R. [14136], Cameroon K000094678
    Cheek [3060], Cameroon 55409.000
    Cheek [3017], Cameroon 56074.000
    Cheek [700], Cameroon 56189.000
    Baker, W.J. [455], Cameroon K000460205
    Etuge, M. [6498], Cameroon 77171.000
    Etuge, M. [6439], Cameroon 76104.000
    Sonké, B. [2418], Cameroon K000460210
    Prenner, G. [50], Cameroon 75956.000
    Mildbraed, G. W. J. [10559], Cameroon K000094664

    First published in Melet. Bot.: 33 (1832)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • —F.T.A. 1: 220.
    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Melet. Bot.: 33 (1832) nom. conserv.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Melet. Bot. 33 (1832)

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0