1. Family: Malvaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Cola Schott & Endl.
      1. Cola microcarpa Brenan

        This species is accepted, and its native range is E. & S. Tanzania.

    [FTEA]

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

    Type
    Type: Tanzania, Morogoro District: Turiani, Semsei 1466 (K,!, holo.; EA iso.)
    Habit
    Evergreen tree, 5–18 m tall.
    Bark
    Bark and wood unknown.
    Branches
    Flora districts: Ultimate branchlets terete, 2–3 mm wide, with reddish brown scurf when young, soon or at length lost, revealing a smooth white epidermis; bud-scales triangular, falling early
    Leaves
    Leaf-blade oblanceolate or elliptic, 2–15(–17.5) cm long, 0.8–6.8 cm wide, apex acuminate, base acute to cuneate, 9–10 pairs of main veins, leathery, glabrous; petiole terete, 1–67 mm long, ± 1 mm wide, with reddish brown scurf often persisting; stipules ligulate, ± 6 mm long, puberulous
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences axillary, amongst the leaves, but also on older wood below, with fascicles of numerous single flowers, but only 1–4 flowers open at one time; bracts 2(–3), rounded to oblong, ± 1.5–2 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, apex often bilobed, puberulous; flower stalk 9–23 mm long, articulated ± a third its length from the base, with long, shaggy grey hairs
    Flowers
    Flowers yellowish green, perianth divided into 5(–7) lobes each 4.5–8 mm long, 2.2–4.3 mm across, outer surface as stalk, rarely slightly yellowish, inner sparsely hairy in upper half and densely and minutely papillate throughout Male flowers with androphore terete, ± 3 mm long, glabrous; anthers uniseriate, 5–6, glabrous, in a disc 1–1.5 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm diameter; ovary vestigial, concealed Female flowers with androphore absent; anthers barely reduced, at base of ovary; ovary subglobose, 1.1–1.8(–3) mm long; 2.2–4.5 mm diameter, densely yellowish, long-tomentose; style 0.7–1 mm long; stigmas (3–)4, recurved, ± 0.7 mm long, with stout hairs
    Male
    Male flowers with androphore terete, ± 3 mm long, glabrous; anthers uniseriate, 5–6, glabrous, in a disc 1–1.5 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm diameter; ovary vestigial, concealed
    Female
    Female flowers with androphore absent; anthers barely reduced, at base of ovary; ovary subglobose, 1.1–1.8(–3) mm long; 2.2–4.5 mm diameter, densely yellowish, long-tomentose; style 0.7–1 mm long; stigmas (3–)4, recurved, ± 0.7 mm long, with stout hairs
    Fruits
    Fruitlets peach-coloured, downy, subglobose 1–1.4 cm long, 1.1–1.8 cm wide, stipe ± 1 mm long, rostrum absent
    Ecology
    Riverine forest; 100–700 m
    Conservation
    Although a total of 15 specimens are known, very few of these are far from Turiani ( T 6) in Morogoro District or Kingupira ( T 8) in Kilwa District and no more than ten distinct sites are known in all, with an estimated area of occupancy of less than 2,000 km2. Threats to the habitat of Cola microcarpa at some of these sites are documented in Clarke, Status Reports for 6 Coastal Forests in Lindi Region, Tanzania (1995), so this species is assessed as VU B2a, b(iii), i.e. “vulnerable”. The only record for T 7 derives from Luke (pers. comm., not verified by me) who cites Luke 11445 from Udzungwa MNP, 530 m alt.
    Note
    Brenan says of C. microcarpa that “ Wallace 906 is said to occur at 1100 m in the Usambaras”. The latter is very likely an error since this altitude is far too high for the species, and if it did occur there, it is likely that the intensive collecting efforts there in the 1980s would have produced more specimens. Specimens labelled as this species from T 4 (e.g. Bidgood et al. 2964 and 2963) represent another taxon that may be the closely related C. mossambicensis (flowers are required), differing e.g. in the absence of shaggy grey indumentum and in the higher altitudinal range (850–1200 m). Iversen records this taxon from E Usambaras according to Luke (pers. comm.) but I have seen no specimen and find this doubtful. Luke (pers. comm.) also reports this species from T 7 at Udzungwa MNP, Luke 11445 which is more credible.   Cola microcarpa seems rather more variable than most Cola species in flower shape and size. For example, pedicel width is 0.3 mm in the type collection, yet 1 mm in Milne-Redhead & Taylor 7349. Unfortunately Brenan, who uses this feature in his key to distinguish two groups of species including C. microcarpa, errs, firstly in placing the species amongst those with pedicels 0.75–1.5 mm in diameter (the opposing clause is “pedicels less than 0.5 mm in diameter”) and secondly in his description of the species “circiter 0.5 mm diametro”. Palmer and Pitman (1972; 2: 1491) in Trees of Southern Africa seem first to mention that C. microcarpa extends to South Africa. They give an extensive description and illustration. Drummond in his check-list of Rhodesian woody plants (Kirkia 10: 260, 1975) lists C. microcarpa as a synonym of C. greenwayi, which is surprising since Wild in the Flora Zambesiaca account of Cola does not mention C. microcarpa. No collections have been seen of C. microcarpa from that region and it may be that Drummond was referring to C. mossambicensis (q.v.), material of which was once referred to as C. microcarpa to which it is closely related. Verdoorn in her paper ‘The genus Cola in southern Africa’ (Bothalia 13: 277, 1981) follows and supports Drummond’s synonymy. However, I am convinced that the South African C. microcarpa sensu Palmer & Pitman ( C. greenwayi sensu Verdoorn) is a related, but distinct and unnamed species. Cola greenwayi can most reliably be differentiated from C. microcarpa by the short rusty-red indumentum of the outer perianth and pedicel (long, shaggy grey indumentum in C. microcarpa) and less consistently by the absence of thick, pale redddish scurf on young stems and petiole. Cola greenwayi occurs between 1100–1830 m altitude, C. microcarpa between 125–660 m.
    Distribution
    Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: T6 T7 T8

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Tanzania

    Cola microcarpa Brenan appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Semsei, S. [1466], Tanzania K000241037 holotype

    First published in Kew Bull. 11: 147 (1956)

    Accepted by

    • Cheek, M. & Dorr, L. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Sterculiaceae: 1-134.

    Not accepted by

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

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Cheek, M. & Dorr, L. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Sterculiaceae: 1-134.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • K.B. 11: 147 (1956).

    Sources

    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.
    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 2019. 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 2019. 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