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Family: Sapindaceae (litchi, maple and horse chestnut family)

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 II > Order: Sapindales

About 135 genera and 1580 species nearly worldwide in distribution, with 20 genera and 35 species native to southern Africa, one species naturalised and an additional nine genera and 35 species cultivated in the region. Included are members of the former families Aceraceae and Hippocastanaceae.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Archer (2000).

Allophylus

About 200 species but species limits are debatable. Nine species are native to southern Africa.

 

Atalaya

About nine species, native from Australia to Indochina, and also to southern Africa where there are three species.

 

Aporrhiza

One species native to southern Africa - Aporrhiza paniculata (= Aporrhiza nitida), recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Blighia

Three species, native to tropical Africa, with one species, Blighia unijugata, occurring in southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Cardiospermum

There are 12-20 species, native mainly to tropical America but with three species native to southern Africa. In addition, Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Balloon vine, Blaasklimop) is a naturalised species that is a declared Category 1 invader plant in South Africa.

 

Deinbollia

About 30-40 species, native to Africa and Madagascar, with two species, Deinbollia oblongifolia and Deinbollia xanthocarpa (see Flora of Zimbabwe) native to southern Africa.

 

Dodonaea

About 68 species, mainly native to Australia but with one widespread species, Dodonaea viscosa, native to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Erythrophysa

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

 

Filicium

Three species worldwide, of which one Filicium decipiens is native to southern Africa (Zimbabwe). See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Glenniea

One species native to southern Africa: Glenniea africana (Double-litchi), recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Haplocoelum

About seven species, native to Africa and Madagascar, with one species, Haplocoelum foliolosum, native to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Hippobromus

One species, Hippobromus pauciflorus, native to southern Africa.

 

Lepisanthes

One species native to southern Africa: Lepisanthes senegalensis, recorded from Mozambique. See Flora of Mozambique.

 

Macphersonia

One species native to southern Africa: Macphersonia hildebrandtii, recorded from Mozambique.

 

Pancovia

About 10-12 species, with one species, Pancovia golungensis, native to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Pappea

One species, Pappea capensis, native to Africa, including southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Paullinia

About 200 species, native mainly to tropical and subtropical America, but with one species, Paullinia pinnata, widespread in Africa, including southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Smelophyllum

One species, Smelophyllum capense, native to southern Africa.

 

Stadmannia

One species, Stadmannia oppositifolia, native to Africa and Madagascar, extending into northeastern southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Zanha

Two species, Zanha africana (see Flora of Zimbabwe) and Zanha golungensis (see Flora of Zimbabwe), native to Africa including southern Africa (Botswana). 

 

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Acer (maples)

About 125 species, native to the Northern Hemisphere, mainly Asia. Twenty species are cultivated in southern Africa. Previously placed in family Aceraceae.

 

Aesculus (horse chestnut genus)

Thirteen to 19 species, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Three species and one hybrid are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Sapindus

About 13 species, native to warm regions of the World but with none native to southern Africa. However, four species are cultivated in the region.

 

Dimocarpus longan (Longan, Long-yan, Lingkeng, Mata kuching)

Native from India to New Guinea.  See Wikipedia

 

Litchi chinensis (Litchi, Lychee)

Native from China to Cambodia.  

Koelreuteria

Three species, native to China, Korea and Taiwan. All three species are cultivated in southern Africa.   

 

Harpullia pendula (Tulipwood)

Native to northeast Australia. 

 

Xanthoceras sorbifolia (Yellowhorn)

Native to China. See Wikipedia

 

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Native to southwest USA and Mexico. See Wikipedia

 

Publications

  • Archer, R.F. 2000. Sapindaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 503-506. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

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

 


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