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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Combretaceae

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 > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Myrtales

About 14 genera and 500 species (tropical and subtropical regions), with six genera and 56 species native to southern Africa, and an additional three genera and 18 species that are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa


About 250 species, found in warm regions of the world including Australia and the Pacific Islands. A total of 39 species are native to southern Africa (including Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique), and a further six species are cultivated in the region.


Two species, one native to tropical Asia, Australia and Polynesia, and the other,  Lumnitzera racemosanative to southern Africa.


Two species, with one endemic to Madagascar and the other, Meistemon tetrandus, occurring in Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.



About 9 to 11 species, native to tropical Africa; two species are native to southern Africa.


Seventeen species, native to Africa, India and Philippine Islands. One species: Quisqualis parviflora is native to southern Africa. In addition, Quisqualis indica (Rangoon creeper), native to tropical Asia, is cultivated in the region.



About 250 species (tropics and subtropics), with 12 species native to southern Africa and an additional eight species that are cultivated in the region.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

Information from Glen (2002). All these genera are represented by only one cultivated species in southern Africa, hence the species is listed.

Bucida buceras (Cacho de tora, Bullet tree)

Native to Central America and the West Indies.  


Anogeissus leiocarpus (Marike, Kojoli, Annum, Avin, Atara)

Native to India and Sri Lanka.


Conocarpus erecta (Buttonwood, Button mangrove)

Evidently native to Mexico and West Africa.  The strange distribution can be accounted for by the fact that this is a mangrove inhabiting species.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.