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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Basellaceae

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 > Order: Caryophyllales

Four genera and about 20 species (mainly tropical and subtropical South America but also in Africa and Asia), with two genera and two species naturalised in southern Africa and a further genus and two species that are cultivated in the region.

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).


About 10-15 species (S Florida and Texas through to Argentina), with one species, Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine, Bridal wreath) naturalised in southern Africa; it is also a declared Category 1 invasive plant in South Africa. This species is native to Paraguay and Argentina.



About five species; Basella paniculata is naturalised in southern Africa and Basella alba (Malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach) is cultivated in the region.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

Information from Glen (2002).

Ullucus tuberosus (Ulluc, Oca quina)

Native to South America.