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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Thymelaeaceae

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: Malvales

About 46-50 genera and 891 species, distributed over most regions of the world, with eight genera and 173 species native to southern Africa and a further two genera and three species that are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

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


Two species of which one, Dais cotinifolia (Pompon tree) (see Flora of Zimbabwe), is native to southern Africa. The other species is native to Madagascar.



Two species, both endemic to southern Africa: Englerodaphne ovalifolia and Englerodaphne pilosa.



About 140 species, native mainly to Africa but also to Madagascar and India. Eighty-eight species are native to southern Africa.


Forty species, endemic to South Africa (in Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape).


Twenty species, all native to southern Africa. Most of the species are native to the western Cape and Eastern Cape.



About 10 species, native to Africa and Madagascar, with one species, Peddiea africana (Poison olive), native to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.



Twenty-five species, all endemic to southern Africa.


About seven species, native to Africa with three species native to southern Africa.


Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). The species is listed if a genus has only one species cultivated in southern Africa.


Two species cultivated: Daphne acutiloba (native to China) and Daphne odora (native to China and Taiwan).


Pimelea ferruginea

Native to Western Australia.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.