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This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to Malawi.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

Aponogetonaceae, K.A. Lye (Agricultural University of Norway). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Plants monoecious.
Vegetative Multiplication Tubers
Tuber oval, shortly cylindrical or irregularly shaped, 10–30 mm. long and 5–20 mm. thick, densely set with whitish roots above.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves few–many; petiole (except in var. graminifolius) 3–60 cm. long and 0.6–3 mm. thick, greenish, terete or somewhat compressed; blade usually oval to lanceolate, floating, with acute to obtuse tip and cuneate to truncate base, very rarely (only in var. cordatus) the base is prominently cordate, 3–12 cm. long and 0.5–5 cm. wide, green, but sometimes dark-spotted beneath; midrib very prominent on lower surface, parallel nerves 2–4 on each side of the midrib; very rarely the leaves sessile, linear and grass-like (in var. graminifolius).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a bifid spike 10–50 mm. long and 2–8 mm. wide when flowering, with many usually densely set bisexual or female flowers facing in all directions; peduncles 5–45 cm. long and 1–5 mm. thick, terete or somewhat flattened, green to reddish; spathe 5–20 mm. long, pale green with darker longitudinal lines (and sometimes spots).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers usually consisting of 2 tepals, 6 stamens and 3 ovaries (rarely no stamens and up to 7 ovaries in apomictic plants).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Tepal
Tepals persistent or caducous, pinkish, mauve to bluish violet, rarely white (only in var. albiflorus), oval, obovate to ligulate, or with a narrow base and a wider upper part, 1–5 mm. long, with 1 nerve, rarely densely set with numerous reddish brown gland-dots (only in var. glanduliferus).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 2–3 mm. long; filaments white or violet, somewhat thickened towards the base; anthers 0.2–0.4 mm. long and 0.2–0.3 mm. wide, violet to almost black, but pollen yellow.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Follicles grey to brownish, 3–7 mm. long with a prominent 1–2 mm. long beak of the same colour as the remainder of the follicle or much darker, containing 4–14 ovules.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds elliptic to elongate, 0.7–1.5 mm. long and 0.2–0.4 mm. wide, with longitudinal ridges, but not prominently winged; testa double.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blades ± long-petiolate, floating, ovate to lanceolate, 3–12 x 0.5–5 cm, acute to obtuse at the apex, cuneate to cordate at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Mostly bisexual. Spikes 2-branched with branches 10–50 x 2–8 mm, dense, pedunculate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers mostly with 2 pinkish to purplish tepals, 6 stamens and 3, 4–14-ovulate carpels (rarely stamens absent and carpels up to 7 in apomictic plants)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Follicles 3–7 mm long including 1–2 mm long beak
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 0.7–1.5 x 0.2–0.4 mm.
Vernacular
Muco (Somali)
Note
Var. abyssinicus is distributed in eastern Africa from Ethiopia southwards to south-eastern Zaire. Three further varieties were recognized by Lye in Lidia 1: 73–79 (1986), all in Kenya and Tanzania.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blades ± long-petiolate, floating, ovate to lanceolate, with cordate base.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Mostly bisexual. Spikes 2-branched with branches 10–50 x 2–8 mm, dense, pedunculate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers mostly with 2 pinkish to purplish tepals, 6 stamens and 3, 4–14-ovulate carpels (rarely stamens absent and carpels up to 7 in apomictic plants)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Follicles 3–7 mm long including 1–2 mm long beak
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 0.7–1.5 x 0.2–0.4 mm.
Distribution
S1–3; E Kenya
Ecology
Altitude range 40–200 m.
Note
Var. abyssinicus is distributed in eastern Africa from Ethiopia southwards to south-eastern Zaire. Three further varieties were recognized by Lye in Lidia 1: 73–79 (1986), all in Kenya and Tanzania.

Native to:

Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre

Aponogeton abyssinicus Hochst. ex A.Rich. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1971 Speke [s.n.], Kenya K000346041 holotype
Greenway, P.J. [10005], Tanzania 1292.000
Schimper [1483], Ethiopia K000346036 Unknown type material
Schimper [1483], Ethiopia K000346037 Unknown type material
Hildebrandt, J.M. [2645], Kenya K000346040
May 6, 1985 Lindeman, H.A. [783], Tanzania Aponogeton abyssinicus var. glandulifera K000346045 holotype
May 6, 1985 Richards, H.M. [10352], Tanzania Aponogeton abyssinicus var. graminifolius K000346046 holotype
May 6, 1985 Wingfield, R. [2185], Tanzania Aponogeton abyssinicus var. albiflorus K000346042 holotype
May 6, 1985 Wingfield, R. [2185], Tanzania Aponogeton abyssinicus var. albiflorus K000346043 isotype
May 6, 1985 Adamson, J. [4354], Kenya Aponogeton abyssinicus var. cordatus K000346044 holotype

First published in Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 351 (1850)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • Lye, K.A. (1989). Aponogetonaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-10.
  • Timberlake, J.R. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2009). Flora Zambesiaca 12(2): 1-208. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • van Bruggen, H.W.E. (1974). Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaïre - Rwanda - Burundi) Aponogetonaceae: 1-11. Jardin Botanique National de Belgique, Meise.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Edwards, S., Demissew, S. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (1997). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 6: 1-586. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 4, (1995) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • A. Bennett in Flora of Tropical Africa 8: 218 (1901).
  • A. Rich., Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 351 (1851).
  • Cufod., Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatophyta (Supplement in Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg.) p. 1202 (1968).
  • H. Bruggen in Bibl. Bot. 33,137: 60 (1985).
  • H. Bruggen in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 43: 221, fig. 7/12 (1973)
  • H. Bruggen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale: 9, photo. facing p. 1 (1974).
  • Lye in A.D.Q. Agnew, Upland Kenya Wild Flowers p. 650, fig. p. 651 (1974).
  • Lye in Lidia 1: 67 (1986).

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
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
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. 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