Laportea ovalifolia (Schumach.) Chew

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Synonyms: Fleurya ovalifolia (Schumach.) Dandy
Fleurya podocarpa Wedd.
Haynea ovalifolia Schumach.
Common names:
Description: Perennial herb with scattered stinging hairs, forming stolons, often prostrate with erect shoots, up to 2 m tall. Leaves ovate 8–10 cm long, usually subcordate to rounded at the base, with no or few stinging hairs above, more numerous beneath, especially on the midrib; margin crenate to serrate; petiole 5–10 cm long. Stipules up to 1 cm long, almost hairless except for a few stinging hairs. Inflorescences unisexual on the same plant. Male inflorescences often arising directly from the stolons, but sometimes also axillary from the erect stems, branched, up to 50 cm long; flowers in dense clusters at intervals along the pubescent axis; tepals 5, up to 2 mm long. Female inflorescence mostly axillary, but sometimes produced directly from the stolons, up to 6 cm long, pubescent; flowers up to 2 mm long; tepals 4, hairless; stigma 3-branched. Achene up to 3 mm long, rugose.
Derivation of specific name: ovalifolia: with oval (i.e. elliptic) leaves
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Fairly widespread in tropical Africa as far as Tanzania and Angola with a single record from Zimbabwe.
Growth form(s):
Insects associated with this species:
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Friis, I. (1989). Urticaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 18 - 19.

Friis, I. (1991). Urticaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6) Pages 89 - 91. (Includes a picture).

Hauman, L. (1948). Urticaceae Flore d'Afrique Centrale 1 Pages 191 - 193. As Fleurya podocarpa. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 82.

Other sources of information about Laportea ovalifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: Laportea ovalifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Laportea ovalifolia
African Plant Database: Laportea ovalifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Laportea ovalifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Laportea ovalifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Laportea ovalifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Laportea ovalifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Laportea ovalifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Laportea ovalifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Laportea ovalifolia
Plants of the World Online: Laportea ovalifolia
Tropicos: Laportea ovalifolia
Wikipedia: Laportea ovalifolia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Caprivi: Cultivated Plants: Species information: Laportea ovalifolia., retrieved 1 March 2024

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