Back to Biodiversity Explorer main pageGo to Iziko Museums of Cape Town home pageAbout Biodiversity Explorer - history, goals, etc.Send us your questions about southern African biodiversityPeople who have contributed content and images.Search Biodiversity Explorer

Family: Celastraceae

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 > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Celastrales

There are about 92 genera and 1350 species worldwide of which 25 genera and 91 species are native to southern Africa. An additional one genus and 12 species are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Apodostigma

One species: Apodostigma pallens (recorded from Zimbabwe).

 

Allocassine

One species: Allocassine laurifolia, found in dry forest and forested ravines from eastern Zimbabwe down to the Eastern Cape.

 

Cassine

The three species are endemic to southern Africa. Most of the non-southern African species that were previously placed in Cassine are now in the genus Elaeodendron.

Catha

One species: Catha edulis (see Flora of Zimbabwe), widespread in the eastern parts of Africa and is also found on the Arabian Peninsula and Madagascar. In southern Africa, its distribution extends from Limpopo province down to the Eastern Cape. Chewing the leaves provides an amphetamin-like stimulant action.

 

Elachyptera

Split off from Hippocratea. One species in southern Africa: Elachyptera parvifolia (see Flora of Zimbabwe).

 

Elaeodendron

About 30 species, found worldwide with five species in southern Africa. An additional two species are cultivated in the region.

Empleuridium

One species: Empleuridium juniperinum, found only in the mountains of the Caledon district in the Western Cape.

 

Gloveria

One species: Gloveria integrifolia, found in the Northern and Western Cape.

Gymnosporia

About 80 species, native to Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe, Asia, Australia and Polynesian Islands. There are 29 species native to southern Africa.

Lauridia

The two species are endemic to southern Africa.

 

Loeseneriella

Split off from Hippocratea. Two species are native to southern Africa.

Lydenburgia

Two species, both endemic to southern Africa: one in Limpopo Province and the other in Pondoland (Eastern Cape).

 

Maurocenia

One species: Maurocenia frangula, found only in kloofs and coastal bush on the Cape Peninsula and in the West Coast National Park.

 

Maytenus

About 150 species worldwide, of which 14 are native to southern Africa. An additional two species are cultivated in the region.

Mystroxylon

One species: Mystroxylon aethiopicum, widespread in Africa and the Mascarene Islands.

Pleurostylia

About 3-5 species, found in Africa, Mascarene Islands and Australasia. Two species in southern Africa: Pleurostylia capensis and Pleurostylia opposita (recorded from Zimbabwe)

Prionostemma

Split off from Hippocratea. One species in southern Africa: Prionostemma delagoensis.

 

Pristimera

Split off from Hippocratea. Three species in southern Africa.

 

Pseudosalacia

One species: Pseudosalacia streyi, which is a rare tree found in coastal forest of KwaZulu-Natal.

 

Pterocelastrus

The four species are all native to southern Africa but the distribution of the genus extends as far north as Malawi.

Putterlickia

The four species are all native to southern Africa.

 

Reissantia

Split off from Hippocratea. Three species native to southern Africa.

 

Robsonodendron

The two species are endemic to southern Africa, found in forest and coastal bush.

 

Salacia

About 200 species worldwide, of which five are native to southern Africa.

 

Simirestis

Split off from Hippocratea. One species in southern Africa - Simirestis goetzei (recorded from Zimbabwe).

 

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

Information from Glen (2002).

Euonymus

About 175 species that are either shrubs, trees or climbers and are native mainly to Asia. Eight species are cultivated in southern Africa.

Publications

  • Archer, R.H. & Jordaan, M. 2000. Celastraceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 214-220. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

 

Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search