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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Trees, shrubs, or woody climbers. Leaves opposite, whorled, subopposite or rarely alternate, usually entire; petiole sometimes persisting and forming a ± hooked spine. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, 4-5-merous. Calyx 4-5 (rarely more). Petals usually 4-5, variously coloured. Stamens twice as many as petals, in 1 or 2 series. Ovary inferior. Fruit 4-5-winged. A generally recognisable genus but Schrebera trichoclada in leaf looks very similar.  The flowers of many species resemble those of willows (Salix species), hence their common name of Bushwillow.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Combretum

Trees, erect or scandent shrubs, or lianas. Leaves opposite or sometimes alternate or whorled; blades simple; petioles articulated at the base. Flowers 4-5-merous, bisexual, sessile or short-pedicellate, arranged in heads, racemes, spikes, or compound paniculiform inflorescences; bracts foliaceous or reduced. Calyx forming an infundibuliform, tubular, or cupular hypanthium that projects beyond the ovary, with the sepals on the distal portion of the hypanthium; corolla of free petals or absent; stamens 8-10, in one or two whorls, exserted or inserted; ovary inferior, with 2-6 ovules, the style simple, free or adnate to the hypanthium. Fruit dry, indehiscent or dehiscent, with 4 or 5 wings or ribs; seed one. About 270 species of tropical distribution, with numerous species in Africa.

  • References: Jongkind, C. C. H. 1991. Novitates Gabonenses 6. Some critical observations on Combretum versus Quisqualis (Combretaceae) and description of two new species of Combretum. Bull. Mus. Natn. Hist. Nat., Paris, Ser. 4 12: 275-280.
  • Jongkind, C. C. H. 1999. Combretaceae. In: Flora du Gabon. Vol. 35. 115 pp. París.

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 2 specimens in 3 taxa.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 1
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:241Public Records:48
Specimens with Sequences:210Public Species:34
Specimens with Barcodes:208Public BINs:0
Species:73         
Species With Barcodes:66         
          
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data: Combretum cf. mkuzense

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Combretum cf. mkuzense

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Combretum

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Wikipedia

Combretum

"Schousboea" redirects here. As described by H.C.F. Schumacher and Peter Thonning, this is a synonym of Alchornea.

Combretum, the bushwillows or combretums, make up the type genus of the family Combretaceae. The genus comprises about 370 species of trees and shrubs, roughly 300 of which are native to tropical and southern Africa, about 5 to Madagascar, some 25 to tropical Asia and approximately 40 to tropical America. The genus is absent from Australia. Though somewhat reminiscent of willows (Salix) in their habitus, they are not particularly close relatives of these.

Ecology[edit]

Bushwillow trees often are important plants in their habitat. Savannahs in Africa, in particular those growing on granitic soils, are often dominated by Combretum and its close relative Terminalia. For example C. apiculatum is a notable tree in the Angolan mopane woodlands ecoregion in the Kunene River basin in southern Africa.[1]

Other species of this genus are a major component of Southwestern Amazonian moist forests. This genus contains several species that are pollinated by mammals other than bats, which is quite rare indeed.[2] But most species are more conventionally pollinated by insects or birds.[citation needed]

Typhlodromus combretum, a mite of the family Phytoseiidae, was discovered on a bushwillow plant and is named after this genus. Other herbivores that eat Combretum foliage include the caterpillars of the Brown Awl (Badamia exclamationis) which is found on C. albidum, C. latifolium and C. ovalifolium; those of the Orange-tailed Awl (Bibasis sena) are recorded from C. extensum and C. latifolium.[citation needed]

Use by humans[edit]

Combretum acutum - MHNT

Several species are used in African or Indian herbal medicine.[citation needed] The class of chemical compounds known as combretastatins were first isolated from South African Bushwillow (Combretum caffrum), from which they get their name. One synthetic derivative, fosbretabulin disodium (combretastatin A4 phosphate), underwent preliminary study for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer,[3] but it was not effective enough to progress to more advanced trials. C. molle is also recorded to contain antioxidants such as punicalagin,[citation needed] which is also found in pomegranates (Punica granatum), a somewhat related plant.

The botanist George Don studied this genus extensively. The Luvuvhu River in southern Africa was named after the River Bushwillow (C. erythrophyllum), locally known as muvuvhu.

Selected species[edit]

References[edit]

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