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Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae (asclepiads)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid I > Order: Gentianales > Family: Apocynaceae

This subfamily used to be in a separate family, the Asclepiadaceae. Seventy genera and 669 species are native to southern Africa, an additional two genera and three species are naturalised, and an additional four genera and 28 species are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Victor et al. (2000) and Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Anisotoma

Two species, endemic to southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape).

 

Asclepias

About 150 species, native to Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and America, with 50 species native to southern Africa, one species naturalised and an additional two species that are naturalised to the region.

 

Aspidoglossum

About 35 species, native to Africa, of which 34 species are native to southern Africa.

 

Aspidonepsis

Five species, endemic to the high altitude mountain grasslands of southern Africa.

 

Astephanus

About 30 species, native to Africa and America, with two species native to southern Africa.

 

Australluma

Two species native to southern Africa.

 

Baynesia

Baynesia lophophora is native to Namibia.

 

Brachystelma

About 100 species, native to Africa and India to Australia, with 97 species native to southern Africa.

 

Calatropis

One species: Caralluma arida, endemic to Namibia.

 

Caralluma

One species: Caralluma arida, endemic to Namibia.

 

Ceropegia

Over 160 species, native to Africa and Madagascar to Australia, with 59 species native to southern Africa and an additional species that is cultivated in the region.

 

Cordylogyne

One species: Cordylogyne globosa, native mainly to moist high grasslands of southern Africa.

 

Cynanchum

About 100 species, found worldwide, with 15 species native to southern Africa.

 

Duvalia

Seventeen species, native to Africa, with 11 species native to southern Africa.

 

X Duvaliaranthus

X Duvaliaranthus albostriatus is an intergeneric hybrid of Duvalia caespitosa and Piaranthus punctatus and is found in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

 

Emplectanthus

Three species, endemic to KwaZulu-Natal.

 

Eustegia

About eight species, with five species native to southern Africa.

 

Fanninia

One species: Fanninia caloglossa, endemic to KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

 

Fockea

Six species, native to tropical Africa and southern Africa, with all species occurring southern Africa.

 

Glossostelma

Four species native to southern Africa.

 

Gomphocarpus

About 50 species, native to Africa and Asia, with 12 species native to southern Africa.

Hoodia

Thirteen species, native to Africa, nearly all of which (12) are native to southern Africa. Hoodia plants are eaten by Khoisan people as appetite-suppressants. The substance causing the reduction in appetite has been extracted and been coded P57.

Hoodia sp.

X Hoodiapelia

X Hoodiapelia beukmanii (= Luckhoffia beukmanii) is evidently the result of hybridisation of Hoodia gordonii x Stapelia arenosa.

 

X Hoodiopsis

X Hoodiopsis triebneri is evidently the result of the hybridisation of Hoodia gordonii and Orbea lutea ssp. vaga.

 

Huernia

About 64 species, native to Africa and Arabian Peninsula, with 40 species native to southern Africa.

 

Ischnolepis

One species native to southern Africa - Ischnolepis natalensis.

 

Kanahia

One species, Kanahia laniflora, native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (see Flora of Zimbabwe). Kanahia consimilis, Kanahia delilei, Kanahia glaberrima and Kanahia monroi have all been synonymised under Kanahia laniflora.

 

Larryleachia

Eight species, endemic to Namibia and the Northern Cape (South Africa). Species in this genus were previously in the genus Lavrania.

 

Lavrania

One species, Lavrania haagnerae, endemic to Namibia. A number of other species once placed in this genus, have been transferred to the genus Larryleachia.

 

Margaretta

One species, occurring in tropical Africa (including Zimbabwe and Mozambique): Margaretta rosea. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Marsdenia

Over 300 species, widely distributed, with six species native to southern Africa.

 

Microloma

Ten species, endemic to southern Africa.

Miraglossum

Seven species, endemic to the eastern parts of southern Africa.

 

Neoschumannia

Two species, both native to tropical Africa, with one Neoschumannia cardinea native to southern Africa (Zimbabwe). See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Notechidnopsis

One species: Notechidnopsis tessellata, endemic to Namaqualand (Northern and Western Cape).

 

Oncinema

One species: Oncinema lineare, endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape.

 

Ophionella

Two species: Ophionella arcuata (Eastern Cape: Willowmore to Addo), and Ophionella willowmorensis (Eastern Cape).

 

Orbea

About 31 species, with 30 species native to southern Africa.

 

Orthanthera

Four species, native to Africa and India, with two species native to southern Africa.

 

Pachycarpus

About 30 species, native to Africa, with 26 species native to southern Africa, occurring in high altitude grasslands.

 

Parapodium

Three species, endemic to southern Africa.

 

Pectinaria

Three species, endemic to the Northern and Western Cape, South Africa.

 

Pentarrhinum

Three species, native to Africa, with two species native to southern Africa.

 

Pergularia

Five species, native from Africa to India, and Madagascar. Pergularia daemia (Dhraeba) is the only species native to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe, where it is split into two subspecies - P. d. daemia and P. d. barbata.

 

Periglossum

Two species, both native to southern Africa.

 

Piaranthus

Seven species, all native to southern Africa.

 

Quaqua

Twenty species, all native to southern Africa.

 

Rhyssolobium

One species: Rhyssolobium dumosum, endemic to the very arid coastal regions of Namibia and the Northern Cape, where fog occurs.

 

Richtersveldia

One species: Richtersveldia columnaris, endemic to the Western Cape.

 

Riocreuxia

The 10 species are all native to Africa except for one that occurs in India. Eight species are native to southern Africa.

 

Sarcostemma

Ten species, native to arid regions of the Old World, with two species native to southern Africa.

 

Schizoglossum

About 80 species, native to Africa, with 23 species native to southern Africa (mainly grasslands).

 

Richtersveldia

One species: Richtersveldia columnaris, endemic to the Western Cape.

 

Secamone

About 100 species, native to warm regions of the Old World, with six species native to southern Africa.

 

Sisyranthus

Thirteen species, native to tropical and southern Africa, with 13 species native to southern Africa (found in grasslands).

 

Sphaerocodon

Three species, both native to southern Africa.

 

Stapelia

Forty-three species, native to Africa, with 34 species native to southern Africa.

Stapeliopsis

Seven species, endemic to southern Africa.

 

Stathmostelma

Thirteen species, native to eastern tropical Africa, three of which are native to southern Africa.

 

Stenostelma

Three species, endemic to southern Africa.

 

Stigmatorhynchus

Three species, native to Africa, one of which, Stigmatorhynchus hereroensis, is native to southern Africa (Namibia).

 

Tavaresia

Two species, Tavaresia barklyi (see Flora of Zimbabwe) and Tavaresia meintjesii, both of which are native to southern Africa.

 

Telosma

Ten species, native from Africa to Malaya, one of which, Telosma africana, is native to southern Africa.

 

Trachycalymma

One species native to southern Africa - Trachycalymma pulchellum (recorded from Zimbabwe).

 

Trichocaulon

One species native to southern Africa - Trichocaulon sociarum.

 

Tridentea

Eight species, endemic to southern Africa.

 

Tromotriche

Nine species, endemic to the winter rainfall region of southern Africa, extending from south west Namibia round to the Eastern Cape.

 

Tylophora

Fifty species, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World, with nine species native to southern Africa and an additional species that is cultivated in the region.

 

Woodia

Three species, endemic to southern Africa.

 

Xysmalobium

About 40 species, native to Africa, with 26 species native to southern Africa.

 

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

List from Victor et al. (2000) and Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Araujia

The five species are all climbers and are native to South America. Araujia sericifera (Moth catcher, Cruel plant) has become naturalised in southern Africa and is a declared Category 1 invasive plant in South Africa.

 

Calotropis

Three species, native to tropical and subtropical Africa, and Asia. One species, Calotropis procera, has become naturalised in southern Africa.

 

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Oxypetalum caeruleum

Native to Argentina.

 

Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar jasmine)

Native to Madagascar.

 

Dischidia

About 80 species of epiphytes, native to tropical regions of China, India and Indo-China. Five species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Hoya

About 200-300 species of tropical climbing plants, native to southern Asia, Australia and Polynesia. Sixteen species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Victor, J.E., Bredenkamp, C.L., Venter, H.J.T., Bruyns, P.V. & Nicholas, A. 2000. Apocynaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 71-98.. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Albers, F., Delfs, W., Kusch, G. & Meve, U. 1989. Lebensformen der Ceropegieae und Stapelieae (Asclepiadaceae) in ariden Zonen Afrikas. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen 64: 59–74.
  • Albers, F., Liede, S. & Meve, U. 1993. Deviating chromosome numbers in Asclepiadaceae. Nordic Journal of Botany 13: 37–39.
  • Albers, F. & Meve, U. 1991. Mixoploidy and cytotypes. A study of possible vegetative species differentiation in stapeliads (Asclepiadaceae). Bothalia 21: 67–72.
  • Albers, F. & Meve, U. 1997. Asclepiadaceae (incl. Annex 2: Asclepiadaceae of conservation concern). In: S. Oldfield (comp.), Cactus and succulent plantsstatus survey and conservation action plan: 14–17, 159–163. IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
  • Bruyns, P.V. 1976. A new putative intergeneric Stapeliad hybrid. Journal of South African Botany 42: 365–367.
  • Bruyns, P.V. 1995. New records and new species of Asclepiadaceae from Namibia. Bothalia 25: 155–172.
  • Bruyns, P.V. & Forster, P.I. 1991. Recircumscription of the Stapelieae. Taxon 40: 381–391.
  • Liede, S. 1996. Anther differentiation in the Asclepiadaceae: form and function. In: W. D’Arcy & R.C. Keating (eds), The anther: form, function and phylogeny: 221–235. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Liede, S. 1997. Subtribes and genera of the tribe Asclepideae (Apocynaceae–Asclepiadoideae)—a synopsis. Taxon 46: 233–247.
  • Liede, S. & Albers, F. 1994. Tribal disposition of Asclepiadaceae genera. Taxon 43: 201–231.
  • Liede, S. & Kunze, H. 1993. A descriptive system for corona analysis in Asclepiadaceae and Periplocaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution 185: 275–284.
  • Liede, S. & Weberling, F. 1995. Inflorescence structure in Asclepiadaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution 197: 99–109.
  • Meve, U., Albers, F. & Kusch, G. 1990. The outer epidermal wall structure of African Stapelieae (Asclepiadaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany 9: 519–523.
  • Meve, U. & Liede, S. 1994. Pollination in stapeliads— new results and a literature review. Plant Systematics and Evolution 192: 99–116. Meve, U. & Liede, S. 1996. A new species from Ethiopia and an interesting disjunction in African Tylophora (Asclepiadaceae). Edinburgh Journal of Botany 53: 323–329.
  • Nicholas, A. 1990. Why has generic delimitation in parts of the family Asclepiadaceae been a contentious and perennial problem? Asklepios 49: 76–77.
  • Nicholas, A. 1992. The asclepiadaceous works of Rudolf. E. Schlechter. Willdenowia 22: 215–264.
  • Ollerton, J. & Liede, S. 1997. The evolution of pollination systems in the Asclepiadaceae: a survey and preliminary analysis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 62: 593–610.

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