Hyphaene petersiana Klotzsch ex Mart.

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Hyphaene petersiana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Zambezi National Park Rest Camp, Victoria Falls

Hyphaene petersiana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Zambezi National Park Rest Camp, Victoria Falls

Hyphaene petersiana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Masuma Dam, Hwange NP

Hyphaene petersiana

Photo: Petra Ballings
Along Runde River South of Tembwahata, Gonarezhou National Park.

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Synonyms: Hyphaene benguellensis var. ventricosa (Kirk) Furtado
Hyphaene ventricosa Kirk
Common names: Northern Ilala (Lala) palm (English) Real fan palm (English) Vegetable-ivory palm (English)
Status: Native
Tall erect, single-stemmed tree. Stems erect, rarely suckering to form clumps. Leaves crowded on top of the stem, fan-shaped, up to 2.5 m including the petiole. Petiole armed with recurved thorns. Male and female flowers on different trees; male flowers in short spikes; female flowers in large sprays, which develop into branched trusses of fruits. Fruits almost spherical, 4-6cm in diameter. The hard white kernel of the seed is known as "vegetable ivory". This species is very similar to the closely related H. coriacea and there is some debate about the exact taxonomic status of the two. H. coriacea differs mainly in the fruit being pear-shaped. The trees appear to be generally smaller and sucker more readily.
Derivation of specific name: petersiana: named after Professor Wilhelm Peters (1815-1863) of Berlin who collected in Mozambique in the early 19th century.
Habitat: In dry sandy areas, often away from rivers.
Flowering time:Nov - Feb
Worldwide distribution: From Central Africa to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 52. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 33.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 99.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 38 - 39. (Includes a picture).

Dransfield, J. (2010). Arecaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(2) Pages 53 - 56. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 232. As Hyphaene benguellensis ventricosa

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 345. (Includes a picture).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 4 - 5. (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 85.

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 14 - 15. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 114.

Setshogo, M.P. & Venter, F. (2003). Trees of Botswana: names and distribution SABONET Report No. 18 Southern African Botanical Diversity Network, Pretoria Page 4. (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 180.

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press. Page 12. as Hyphaene ventricosa

Other sources of information about Hyphaene petersiana:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Hyphaene petersiana
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Hyphaene petersiana
Flora of Malawi: Hyphaene petersiana
Flora of Mozambique: Hyphaene petersiana
Flora of Zambia: Hyphaene petersiana
Flora of Zimbabwe: Hyphaene petersiana

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Hyphaene petersiana.
https://www.capriviflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=111940, retrieved 25 July 2024

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