Original Research

Ficus sur (Moraceae) and Gymnanthemum coloratum (Asteraceae: Vernonieae) – first distribution records for Namibia

Wessel Swanepoel, Ernst J. van Jaarsveld
Bothalia | Vol 45, No 1 | a1865 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v45i1.1865 | © 2015 Wessel Swanepoel, Ernst J. van Jaarsveld | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2014 | Published: 30 March 2015

About the author(s)

Wessel Swanepoel, H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ernst J. van Jaarsveld, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South Africa; Department of Botany, University of the Western Cape, South Africa, South Africa


Background: The distribution of Ficus sur includes most of tropical Africa, but whilst this species was suspected to occur in Namibia, this has not been verified. Gymnanthemum coloratum is a tropical African savannah shrub or tree that has been recorded for Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa, but which has not previously been recorded for Namibia.

Objectives: To formally document the first records of two plant species from Namibia and provide habitat details of the localities from which these species were recorded.

Method: The data presented have resulted from botanical expeditions to the poorly known Baynes Mountains in the Koakoveld region of Namibia. Specimens of the two species in the National Herbarium, Pretoria were examined to verify the identity in the case of G. coloratum, and to document additional records in Namibia for F. sur.

Results: Ficus sur was recorded from two localities, and a third locality based on a specimen in the National Herbarium, Pretoria, was verified. Gymnanthemum coloratum, a member of the Asteraceae, was recorded from a single locality.

Conclusion: The fact that F. sur was collected at more than one location in the Kaokoveld suggests that it is probably more widespread in suitable microhabitats. Ficus sur also occurs further north in Angola, suggesting that the Kaokoveld plants represent a cross-border outlier of the much more widespread Angolan population. Gymnanthemum coloratum was only recorded from the one locality in the Koakoveld. The species also occurs in Angola, which suggests that the Kaokoveld plant represents a cross-border outlier of the population in that country.


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