African Plant Database

Satyrium shirense Rolfe
Protologue : Fl. Trop. Afr. [Oliver et al.] 7(2): 266 (1898)
Information on the genus : Satyrium
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Terrestrial slender herb 13-45 cm tall; stem leafy; leaves 6-7, the lowermost 2 sheath-like, the next 2 spreading, borne near stem base, lanceolate-ovate, 5-14,5x2-6 cm, upper leaves bract-like; inflorescence cylindrical, 3-15x1-2 cm, laxly to 20-flowered; flowers creamy white, thick-textured; bracts to 15 mm long, reflexed; ovary 6-8 mm long; tepals deflexed; dorsal sepal oblong, c. 3-4x1 mm; laterals slightly longer and much wider, spirally twisted; petals similar but narrower; lip ellipsoid, 4-5 mm long, fleshy, mouth narrow; spurs 2, 8-12 mm long, slender, parallel to ovary, sometimes with 2 vestigial spurs beside the main ones.
Ecology : Grassland; bushland; rocky hillsides; seepage slopes; 1600-2750 m alt.
  Tubers used as chikanda (Golding in Sabonet News 6/2: 99, 2001; P. Latham, Plants visited by bees… useful plants Umalila… : 167, 2007). Tubers and cakes (flour baked into cakes to be eaten with tea) are sold in markets in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Closely resembling S. chlorocorys. In the herbarium small specimens of S. shirense are difficult to distinguish from S. chlorocorys, but in the field they appear quite distinct (Fl. Zambes. 11/1: 217-218, 1995). The two species grow together in N Malawi, but no intermediates between them have been seen.

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • EXELL, A. & WILD, H. (1995). Flora Zambesiaca: Mozambique, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Bechuanaland Protectorate. London Kew 11[1]: 217
More info on :
see under Jstor_African Plant Initiative
see under The International Plant Name Index
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
More information >> ( work in progress )
Record n°46368 modified 2007-01-08
Feedback about this record