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close this bookKenya Trees, Shrubs and Lianas (National Museum of Kenya, 1994, 762 p.)
View the documentAnnonaceae - Soursop family
View the documentMonimiaceae - Lemonwood family
View the documentLauraceae - Avocado family
View the documentHernandiaceae
View the documentRanunculaceae - Buttercup family
View the documentBerberidaceae - Berberis family
View the documentMenispermaceae - Curare family
View the documentAristolochiaceae
View the documentPiperaceae - Pepper family
View the documentTurneraceae
View the documentCapparaceae (Capparidaceae) - Caper family
View the documentMoringaceae - Moringa family
View the documentViolaceae - Violet family
View the documentPolygalaceae
View the documentCrassulaceae
View the documentPortulacaceae
View the documentPolygonaceae - Sorrel family
View the documentPhytolaccaceae
View the documentChenopodiaceae
View the documentAmaranthaceae
View the documentBalsaminaceae - Balsam family
View the documentLythraceae - Henna family
View the documentSonneratiaceae
View the documentOliniaceae
View the documentOnagraceae - Fuchsia family
View the documentThymelaeaceae
View the documentNyctaginaceae - Bougainvillea family
View the documentProteaceae - Protea family
View the documentDilleniaceae
View the documentPittosporaceae
View the documentFlacourtiaceae (incl. Samydaceae) - Kei-apple family
View the documentCanellaceae - Cinnamon family
View the documentTamariceae - Tamarisk family
View the documentPassifloraceae - Passionflower family
View the documentCucurbitaceae - Cucumber family
View the documentBegoniaceae - Begonia family
View the documentCaricaceae - Papaya family
View the documentOchnaceae - Ochna family
View the documentAncistrocladaceae
View the documentMyrtaceae - Eucalypt/clove family
View the documentLecythidaceae
View the documentMelastomataceae
View the documentCombretaceae - Combretum family
View the documentRhizophoraceae - Mangrove family
View the documentGuttiferae (including Hypericaceae) - Garcinia family
View the documentTiliaceae - Jute family
View the documentSterculiaceae - Cola family
View the documentBombacaceae - Baobab family
View the documentMalvaceae - Cotton family
View the documentMalphigiaceae
View the documentEyrthroxylaceae - Coca family
View the documentLinaceae - Flax family
View the documentEuphorbiaceae - Rubber, Cassava, Castor oil family
View the documentMontiniaceae
View the documentRosaceae - Rose family
View the documentChrysobalanceae
View the documentDichapetalaceae (including Chailletiaceae)
View the documentCaesalpiniaceae - Cassia family
View the documentMimosaceae - Mimosa family
View the documentPapilionaceae - Pea family
View the documentHamamelidiceae
View the documentBuxaceae - Box family
View the documentSalicaceae -Willow family
View the documentMyricaceae
View the documentCasuarinaceae - Casuarina family
View the documentUlmaceae
View the documentMoraceae - Fig family
View the documentUrticaceae - Stinging nettle family
View the documentAquifoliaceae - Holly family
View the documentCelastraceae - Miraa family
View the documentIcacinaceae
View the documentSalvadoraceae - Mswaki family
View the documentOlacaceae - Sour plum family
View the documentOpiliaceae
View the documentLoranthaceae - Mistletoe family
View the documentSantalaceae - Sandalwood family
View the documentRhamnaceae - Buffalo thorn family
View the documentVitaceae - Grapevine family
View the documentRutaceae - Citrus family
View the documentSimaroubaceae
View the documentBalanitaceae - Desert date family
View the documentBurseraceae - Myrrh family
View the documentMeliaceae - Mahogany family
View the documentSapindaceae - Mkaapwani family
View the documentMelianthaceae
View the documentAnacardiaceae - Mango family
View the documentConnaraceae
View the documentCornaceae - Dogwood family
View the documentAlangiaceae
View the documentAraliaceae - Mutati family
View the documentUmbelliferae - Carrot family
View the documentEricaceae - Heather family
View the documentEbenaceae - Ebony family
View the documentSapotaceae - Shea butter family
View the documentMyrsinaceae - Rapanea family
View the documentLoganiaceae - Strychnos family
View the documentOleaceae - Olive family
View the documentApocynaceae - Lmuria family
View the documentAsclepiadaceae - Milkweed family
View the documentRubiaceae - Coffee family
View the documentCompositae - Sunflower family
View the documentLobeliaceae
View the documentGoodeniaceae
View the documentBoraginaceae - Cordia family
View the documentSolanaceae - Potato family
View the documentConvolvulaceae - Sweet potato family
View the documentScrophulariaceae - Witchweed family
View the documentBignoniaceae - Flame tree family
View the documentPedaliaceae - Sesame family
View the documentAcanthaceae - Sarim family
View the documentVerbenaceae - Teak family
View the documentCyclocheilaceae
View the documentLabiatae/Lamiaceae - Mint, basil family

Compositae - Sunflower family

Herbs or shrubs, rarely trees. Leaves exstipulate, alternate or opposite. Flowers sessile in dense heads, surrounded by a series of bracts called phyllaries; flowers monoecious, polygamous or dioecious; sepals reduced to scales or bristles (pappus); corolla either regular (tube florets) or with a spreading ligule to one side (ray florets); fruit a dry achene, with hairs or bristles, small.


For succulent shrubs see 10. KLEINIA

1. Leaves linear and less than 2mm wide 2

* Leaves more than 2mm wide or not linear 3

2. Leaves 2-4.5 by 0.5mm, densely pubescent 17. Stoebe

* Leaves 10-27 by 1-1.5mm, glabrous 8. Euryops

3. Leaves bipinnate or (bi)pinnatisect or lobed 4

* Leaves entire, not lobed 7

4. Leaves 3(-5)lobed 19. Tithonia

* Leaves pinnatisect or pinnate 5

5. Leaves subsucculent; climber 16. Solanecio angulatus

* Leaves herbaceous; shrubs 6

6. Leaves greyish, bipinnate 2. Artemisia

* Leaves green, once or twice pinnatisect 3. Bidens

7. Leaves opposite 28

* Leaves alternate or fascicled 8

8. Leaves auriculate at base 9

* Leaves not auriculate 10

9. Leaves very narrow, less than 7mm wide 9. Helichrysum

* Leaves more than 1cm wide 29

10. Involucre/phyllaries shiny, silvery white; high altitude shrubs 9. Helichrysum

* Involucre neither shiny nor silvery 11

11. Flower heads with ray florets as well as tube florets 12

* Flower heads with tube florets only 13

12. Ray florets small: 2-3mm 11. Microglossa

* Ray florets more than 12mm long 15. Senecio

13. Leaf continuing as dentate wings down the stem 13. Pluchea

* No wings along stem 14

14. Leaves subcordate or truncate at base 15

* Leaves cuneate, attenuate, or rarely rounded at base 18

15. Pappus of scales (4-7) 4. Blepharispermum

* Pappus of hairs (many) 16

16. Petiole 6-18cm long; leaf apex rounded or obtuse 15. Senecio

* Petiole less than 6cm long; leaf apex acute or acuminate 17

17. Leaves about as long as wide; petiole mostly over 25mm long; florets cream or yellow 12. Mikaniopsis

* Leaves more than twice as long as wide; petiole less than 30mm long; florets purple, mauve, or white 20. Vernonia

18. Pappus of scales 4. Blepharispermum

* Pappus of hairs or bristles 19

19. Leaves 30-60cm long, panduriform 15. Senecio

* Leaves smaller or elliptic 20

20. Leaves beneath very densely tomentose, giving a greyish or yellowish colour 21

* Leaves beneath glabrous or pubescent, but green 23

21. Leaf margins entire (except in young plants); leaves (narrowly) elliptic 22

* Leaf margin serrate or dentate, or if entire, plant with ovate leaves 20. Vernonia

22. Tree to 20 (36)m; leaves without smell; dry forest 5. Brachylaena

* Shrub or small tree to 7.5m; crushed leaves with smell of camphor; bushland 18. Tarchonanthus

23. Flowers yellow 24

* Flowers white, mauve, or purple 26

24. Leafbase sessile on stem; plants from above 3000m 6. Conyza

* Leafbase cuneate or attenuate; plants from below 2700m 25

25. Leaves sticky, entire or crenulate at margin; shrubs to 2.5m 14. Psiadia

* Leaves not sticky, deeply serrate at margin; shrub or tree to 10m 16. Solanecio

26. Plants from above 3000m; dead leaves staying on plant 6. Conyza

* Plants from below 2850m; dead leaves falling 27

27. Corolla of tube florets exceeding involucre and pappus by at least a quarter; pappus in 2 rows 20. Vernonia

* Corolla of tube florets equalling or shorter than either involucre or pappus; pappus in 1 row 13. Pluchea

28. Flowers cream or pale yellow 1. Ageratina

* Flowers purple or violet 7. Bothriocline

29. Phyllaries in many rows 20. Vernonia

* Phyllaries in 2 rows 15. Senecio maranguensis


Heads in terminal corymbs, with tube florets only. Pappus of bristles.

Ageratina adenophora (Spreng.) R.M. King & H. Robins.

(Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng.)

Shrub 1-2m, stems dark purple, young stems glandular-hairy. Leaves opposite, ovate, base cuneate, apex acute, margins dentate, 2-9 by 1.5-6cm. Flowers white or pale yellow; heads many, about 7mm long. K3; 1950-2300m; I *

Swampy sites, riverine; only collected three times in the Kitale-Eldoret area.


Leaves alternate, aromatic; heads in panicles with only tube florets; pappus absent.

Artemisia afra Willd.

Woody herb or shrub 0.7-2.5m, with numerous stems. Young branches densely pubescent. Leaves pinnatisect, the segments deeply incised, 3-10 by 2-7cm, densely pubescent, grey-silver beneath. Flowers brown or yellow, in pendulous heads about 3-5mm across; inflorescences axillary or terminal with many heads.

Ageratina adenophora

Artemisia afra

Artemisia afra

Bidens hildebrandtii

Bidens kilimandscharica

K23456; 1550-3750m; I-XII

Colonizing burnt areas; locally common in heath zone; grassland, upland bushland (edges), forest edges.

Occasionally forming pure stands.

Mutasia, Muhato (KIK), Sisimwet (KIP), Nyumba (LUO), Ol-tikambu (MAA), Sesimwa (MAR).


Herbs or shrubs; leaves opposite, divided; heads single or in inflorescences, terminal, with tube and ray florets. Pappus replaced by barbed bristles.

1. Heads corymbose; ray florets 16-20 by 5-7mm 1. B. Hildebrandtii

* Heads solitary; ray florets 20-45 by 6-17mm 2. B. kilimandscharica

1. Bidens hildebrandtii O.Hoffm.

Woody herb or shrub 0.9-3m; several -stemmed (occasionally thicket-forming); stems red. Leaves bipinnatisect, to 12 by 9cm. Flowers yellow, heads in corymbs. Pappus with retrorse barbs.

K12347; 450-1900m; IV-V, VIII, XI-II

On steep rocky slopes, especially in Acacia-Commiphora bushland.

Habuni (BOR), Mothee (KAM), Mariti haritiva (REN), Epwatedere (TUR).

Bidens Kilimandscharica

2. Bidens kilimandscharica (O.Hoffm.) Sherff

(incl. B. napierae Sherff, B. taitensis Sherff)

Woody herb or shrub 0.9-3m, stems reddish. Leaves aromatic, once or twice pinnatisect, rarely simple and deeply serrate, 3-18 by 2-16cm. Flowers yellow, in solitary heads. Pappus with erect barbs.

K123467; (1100) 1600-2700m; I-XII

Forest edges, (wooded) grassland, Erica bushland; especially on stony ground.


Leaves alternate; inflorescence with many sessile heads in spherical 'heads or heads'; tube florets only; pappus of scales.

1. Leaves narrowly obovate, 1.3-6 by 0.2-1cm 1. B. lanceolatum

* Leaves ovate or elliptic, more than 1.5cm wide 2

2. Florets 2.5mm long; inflorescence with a single 'head of heads' 2. B. pubescens

* Florets 5mm long; inflorescence branched, with several 'heads of heads' 3. B. zanguebaricum

Blepharispermum lanceolatum

B. pubescens

1. Blepharispermum lanceolatum Chiov.

(B. fruticosum Klatt)

Shrub 1-3m with thin stems and often fascicled leaves. Leaves narrowly obovate to spathulate, base attenuate, apex acute, obtuse or emarginate, margins ciliate, 1.3-6 by 0.2-1cm. Flowers cream or white in a long-pedunculate 'head of heads'.

K147; 1-1200m; I-II, IV-VII, X-XII

Acacia-Commiphora bushland, often on edges of seasonal streams.

Abune (BOR), Kate (ORM), Urmat (REN), Bania bafof, Bainyatusbah (SOM). Good camel fodder.

Note: material from Coast province has more spathulate leaves, which are more often emarginate at apex.

2. Blepharispermum pubescens S.Moore

(Scandent) shrub 1.5-3m. Leaves (broadly) ovate, base cuneate, truncate, or subcordate and often unequal, apex obtuse, acute or shortly acuminate, margin entire or sparsely dentate, 2.5-7 by 1.5-5.5cm, more or less puberulous. Flowers white or yellowish, in a single, long-pedunculate 'head of heads' 7-11mm across.

K14; 250-900m; I-VII, X-XII

Acacia-Commiphora bushland, often on limestone. Baia (REN), Bainy (SOM). The preferred camel forage in the Northeast.

3. Blepharispermum zanguebaricum Oliv. & Hiern Shrub or scrambler with sarmentose branches. Leaves ovate or elliptic, base cuneate, rounded or truncate, often unequally, apex acute, margin entire or sparsely dentate, 4-13 by 2-7cm, sparsely pilose. Flowers white, in several 'heads of heads' each 8- 15mm across, in branched inflorescences.

K467; 1-1800m; I, III-IX, XI
Dry bushland, often in rocky places.
Ulumandu (KAM).

Note: in the Western Masai Mara and near L. Victoria there is a clambering or trailing shrub of this genus with ovate leaves, a truncate leafbase, and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves are densely pubescent beneath. The flowers are in a single 'head of heads'. This is the sp. "A" of UKWF, but its height is unknown. It seems to occur on rocky hills, 1100-1700m.

Blepharispermum zanguebaricum

Blepharispermum zanguebaricum

Brachylaena huillensis



Dioecious. Leaves alternate. Heads small, cylindrical, in short axillary panicles; tube florets only; male heads shortly pedicillate, female heads subsessile. Pappus of scabrid bristles.

Brachylaena huillensis O.Hoffm.

(B. hutchinsii Hutch.)

Tree 10-18 (? 36)m, evergreen; bark rough, grey, peeling longitudinally. Leaves narrowly elliptic to slightly obovate, base cuneate or attenuate, apex acute or short-acuminate, margin entire or serrate in young plants, 3-12 by 1-4cm (larger in saplings), revolute, densely greywhite-tomentose beneath. Flowers white or greenish yellow, in heads in 2-3cm long erect axillary panicles.

Brachylaena huillensis

K47; 1 - 1800m; III-V, X-XII

Upland semi-deciduous forest, locally common, and lowland dry forest or thicket.

Muhuhu, Muhugu (STAND, SWA), Abozi, Avud (BON), Muvuuvu (KAM), Muhugu, Mugugu (KIK), Mshenzi, Watho (SAN), Kipungupungu (TAI). Used for timber (strong and very durable), woodcarving and firewood. Wood smells of sandalwood.


Herbs or shrubs with alternate leaves; heads in terminal corymbs; tube florets only; pappus of minutely scabrid bristles.

1. Leaves petiolate; alt. <3000m 1. C. hypoleuca *

Leaves sessile; alt. >=3000m 2. C. vernonioides

Conyza hypoleuca

Conyza hypoleuca

1. Conyza hypoleuca A.Rich.

Shrub 1,5-4m, resembling C. vernonioides.

K3467; 1500-2300m; V, XII *

Rocky grassland or Tarchonanthus bushland.

Mugomo (TAI).

2. Conyza vernonioides (A.Rich.) Wild

(Nidorella arborea RE Fries)

Shrub or tree 4.5-9m; bark rough, stem clothed with persistent dead leaves. Leaves narrowly ovate or elliptic, base narrowing to the stem (no petiole), apex narrowly acuminate, margin serrate, 9-12.5 by 2-4cm, shortly pubescent beneath. Flowers yellow or white, in many-flowered heads 5-7mm across; inflorescence about 10cm long.

K34; 3000-3750; III, XII

Rocky moorland or at bamboo edges: Elgon, Mt. Kenya, Nyandarua. Uncommon.


Leaves opposite.

Bothriocline fusca (S.Moore) M.G. Gilbert

(Erlangea fusca S. Moore) no map or plate Shrub, usually less than 1.5m, with elliptic, serrate leaves which are white-hairy beneath; flowers purple or violet, in terminal corymbs.

Euryops brownei

Helichrysum nandense

K23456; 2400-3000m; in roadsides and disturbed places at high altitudes.


Shrub with crowded linear leaves; heads solitary, with ray and tube florets. Pappus of short bristles.

Euryops brownei S.Moore

Shrub 0.3-3 (?5)m, bases of leaves remaining on stems and often some dead leaves hanging down. Leaves linear, apex acute, 1 -2.7 by 0.1 - 0.2cm. Flowers bright yellow, rays 7-16 by 2-3.5mm; heads solitary on 17-65mm long peducles.

K234; (2550-) 2850-4200m; I-XII.

Heath zone of Cheranganis, Nyandarua, Mt Kenya, locally abundant.

Note: Euryops elgonensis Matt.f. is a smaller shrub with glabrous instead of pubescent peduncles. This species is confined to the lower heath zone of Mt. Elgon. Collected four times, December to February.


Leaves alternate, often glandular. Heads in corymbs or solitary; tube florets only; phyllaries scarious, often brightly coloured; pappus of scabrid bristles.

1. Leaves 1-2cm wide 3. H. guilelmi

* Leaves less than 0.7cm wide 2

2. Leaves widest at base, clasping the stem 3

* Leaves widest at or above the middle, not clasping 2. H. chionoides

3. Leaves green beneath, puberulous 4. H. nandense

* Leaves whitish-cobwebby beneath 1. H. argyranthum

1. Helichrysum argyranthum O.Hoffm.

Large shrub to 3m. Phyllaries about 10mm long, white.

K1; 2700m;*

Found once on Mt. Nyiru, in moorland.

2. Helichrysum chionoides Phillipsen

Shrub 0.7-2.4m; stem black; dead leaves hanging down. Leaves linear to narrowly obovate, apex acute, 1-3.3 by 0.2-0.5cm, yellow-tomentose beneath. Flowers pale yellow, phyllaries 10-15mm long, shiny white. Heads in dense corymbs.

K4; 2900-3850m; I-III, VI, VIII-IX, XI-XII.

Often subdominant on moorlands of Nyandarua and Mt Kenya, near streams or on rocky slopes.

3. Helichrysum guilelmi Engl.

Shrub to 2m. Leaves half-clasping the stem, narrowly triangular, apex acute, 5-10 by 1-2cm, cobwebby-hairy. Flowers with phyllaries 13-15mm long, silvery white or pink. Heads in corymbs to 12cm long. K4; 3000m; I *

Found once (Winmill 36) on Mt. Kenya in upper bamboo zone; reported (UKWF) from Nyandarua/ Aberdares.

4. Helichrysum nandense S.Moore

Woody herb or shrub 0.4-2.5m, twice reported as scandent. Dead leaves hanging down. Leaves narrowly triangular, half-clasping the stem, apex attenuate, (1) 2-6.5 by 0.2-0.7cm. Flowers with yellow florets and white or red phyllaries 4-8mm long; heads in (axillary and) terminal corymbs.

K3456; 2100-3900m; I-XII

Forest or bamboo edge, montane grasslands, moorlands and heathzone.

Microglossa pyrifolia

Microglossa pyrifolia

Helichrysum nandense

10. KLEINIA see additions,


Herbs or shrubs much resembling Conyza, with alternate leaves and flowers with tube and (small) ray florets in terminal corymbs. Pappus of bristles.

Microglossa pyrifolia (Lam.) O.Kuntze

Woody herb, shrub or scrambler 0.5-6 (12)m. Leaves ovate, base cuneate, occasionally slightly unequal, apex acute, margin dentate (rarely entire), 4-12 by 1.5-5cm, pubescent or puberulous. Flowers white, cream or yellow, rays 2-3mm long. Heads in corymbs, 4-13cm long.

K1234567; 1200-2900m; I-XII.

Forest edges, riverine forest, grass/bushland, waste land.

Mukutu, Uvatha mutheke (KAM), Mutei (KIK), Kuombereriet, Kwambereriet (KIP), Enguu (LUH), Engokumati, Ol-ogomati (MAA). Leaf powder applied on flesh wounds; roots used against cough; leaf decoction emetic, used against malaria.


Climbers with alternate heart-shaped leaves and long petiole used as support; tube florets only, heads in axillary or terminal panicles. Pappus of hairs.

1. Leaves whitish-tomentosa beneath 1. M. bambuseti

* Leaves glabrous 2. M. usambarensis

1. Mikaniopsis bambuseti (R.E. Fr.) C. Jeffrey

[M. clematoides sensu Agnew]

Climber to 10 (+?)m. Leaves broadly ovate, base (sub)cordate, apex acute, margin dentate, 5-12 by 3-9cm, whitish tomentose beneath. Florets white or pale yellow; heads 6-10mm, in 4-7cm long axillary and terminal inflorescences.

K2346; 2100-3000m; I, VII, IX, XI-XII Dry upland forest and (rejuvenating) bamboo. Reported to flower only rarely.

Mikaniopsis bambuseti

Mikaniopsis bambuseti

2. Mikaniopsis usambarensis (Muschler) Milne-Redh.

Climber, size unknown ("robust"). Leaves ovate, base cordate, apex short-acuminate, margins slightly dentate, 6-10 by 5-7cm, glabrous. Florets cream or yellow; heads about 10mm, in 10-14cm long axillary panicles.

K6; 2240m; VII, X*

Forest margins , SW Mau.

Chemetet, Abasbasiet (KIP).


Shrubs. Leaves alternate, (sub-)sessile. Flowers with tube florets only; heads many, in terminal corymbs. Pappus of scabrid bristles.

1. Leaves decurrent down the stem as dentate wings 3. P. ovalis

* Leaves not decurrent down the stem 2

2. Involucre 8-11mm long; heads 5- 15mm across 1. P. bequaertii

* Involucre less than 5mm long; heads 3-5mm across 2. P. dioscoridis

1. Pluchea bequaertii Robyns

Shrub 0.8-3m (?5). Leaves aromatic, elliptic or obovate, base decurrent, apex acute, margin coarsely dentate (rarely almost entire), 2-7.5 by 1-3cm, densely puberulous, pubescent or sandpapery. Flowers pale mauve or reddish purple; heads 5-15mm across, in 2-6cm long inflorescences.

K3467; 800-1900m; I, V, VIII-X

(Alkaline) lake shores and riverbanks, in groups, often associated with Acacia xanthophoea.

NOTE: van Someren 402, from Kinangop, 8000 ft. is near this species.

Pluchea dioscoridis

Pluchea dioscoridis

Pluchea bequaertii

2. Pluchea dioscoridis DC.

Woody herb or shrub 1 -3m, once reported as scandent.

Leaves aromatic, slightly succulent, narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate, base cuneate, apex acute or obtuse, margin dentate, 3-7 by 0.5-2cm, shortly puberulous or sandpapery. Flowers pale mauve; heads 3-5mm across, in 3-8cm long inflorescences.

K12367; 1-1200m, I-VI, VIII-XII

Riverine in dry areas.

Mnyinywa (GIR), Munyonyo (ILW). A decoction of leaves is used for infantile ailments and pregnancy pains.

3. Pluchea ovalis (Pers.) DC.

Shrub 0.9-3m, much branched and spreading. Leaves elliptic or obovate, base dentate and deccurent as dentate wings on the stem, apex acute or obtuse, margin dentate, 3-10 by 1-5cm, (densely) pubescent.

Flowers whitish or yellow-green; heads 4-6mm, in 5-16cm long inflorescences.

K134567; 1-2000 (2400) m: I-II, IV-XII

Swampy places or dry lugga's.

Cheplelmeiet (KIP), Embeneyoi-Pos (MAA), Ioukum- buu (NDO).

Pluchea ovalis

Psiadia punctulata

Psiadia punctulata


Leaves alternate, shiny and resinous with a gum-like secretion. Heads in terminal corymbs. Pappus of scabridulous bristles.

Psiadia punctulata (DC.) Vatke

(P. arabica Jaub & Spach)

Shrub 0.5-2.5m. Leaves shiny and sticky, narrowly elliptic (ovate), base cuneate or decurrent, apex narrowly acuminate, margin entire or crenate, 3-14 by 0.7-4cm. Flowers yellow, in many-flowered heads; heads in 2-7cm long inflorescences.

K1234567; 950-2500m; I-XII

Grassland, bushed grassland (especially with Tarchonanthus), (evergreen) bushland, and dry forest edges.

Mwendanguiko (KIK), Chepkumiat (KIP), Atilili (LUO), Olabai (MAA), Konocho (MAR), Muremantoru (MER), Laba, Labai (SAM), Nosketch (TUG). Maasai use a decoction of leaves to rid calves of fleas.


Leaves alternate; heads in corymbs or solitary; phyllaries quite coherent, (sub)equal, occasionally with some smaller ones outside. Florets tubular and often with ray florets as well. Pappus of hairs. All plants treated here, except for S. maranguensis, belong in the subgenus Dendrosenecio of which the leaves are large and simple, and arranged in a terminal rosette.

1. Plants creeping and rooting 2. S. keniensis

* Plants erect 2

2. Shrubs, with leaves <15cm long 5. S. maranguensis

* Plants with single trunk and large leaves 3

3. Secondary veins 7-18 1. S. johnstonii

* Secondary veins 25-35 4. S. keniodendron

Note: a hybrid occurs between 2 and 4 (see 3, below)

1. Senecio johnstonii Oliv.

A variable species with many geographical races of high altitudes, now generally treated as subspecies and varieties.

Senecio johnstonii ssp. battiscombei

1. Tubular florets only present ssp. elgonensis var. ligulatus

* Tubular as well as ray florets 2

2. Leaves panduriform ssp. elgonensis var. elgonensis

* Leaves narrowly elliptic or obovate 3

3. Leaves short-felty beneath ssp. battiscombei var. battiscombei

* Leaves pubescent to glabrous 4

4. Vegetative stems to 1m ssp. battiscombei var. dalei

* Vegetative stems 3-8m ssp. barriscombei var. cherenganiensis

- ssp. battiscombei (R.E. & T.C.E. Fr.) Mabberley var. battiscombei

(S. battiscombei R.E. & T.C.E. Fr.)

Plant erect, 4.5-6m, with dead leaves hanging down. Leaves narrowly elliptic, base attenuate, apex acute, margin dentate, 25-100 by 14-26cm, short-felty and silver-grey beneath. Ray florets bright yellow, 12-22 by 2-4mm. Inflorescence broadly pyramidal, lax, 0.6-1.2m.

K34; 2900-3900m; II, VI-VII, X

Locally dominant in bogs and streamsides, also on drier sites. Endemic to Mt. Kenya and Nyandarua/Aberdares.

- ssp. battiscombei (R.E. & T.C.E. Fr.) Mabberley var. cherenganiensis (Cotton & Blakel.) C. Jeffrey (S. cherenganiensis Cotton & Blakel.) VULNERABLE

Plant erect, 2.5-9m, with dead leaves hanging down. Leaves narrowly elliptic, base attenuate, apex acute or obtuse, margin dentate, 30-60 by 8-20cm, fine-pubescent beneath. Ray florets bright yellow, 13-20 by 2-3mm. Inflorescence broadly pyramidal.

K3; 2450-3300m; I-II, IV-VIII, XII

Riverine or in swampy sites. Endemic to Cherengani Hills.

- ssp. battiscombei (R.E. & T.C.E. Fr.) Mabberley var. dalei (Cotton & Blakelock) C. Jeffrey

(S. dalei Cotton & Blakel.) VULNERABLE

Plant erect, to 1.5m, with dead leaves hanging down wards. Leaves narrowly elliptic, base attenuate, apex acute, margin dentate, 25-50 by 7.5-20cm, densely short-pubescent beneath. Ray florets bright yellow, 14-18 by 2-3mm. Inflorescence broadly pyramidal.

K3; 3000-3300m; VI, VIII-IX, XII

Swamps. Endemic to Cherangani Hills/Marakwet area.

- ssp. elgonensis (T.C.E. Fr.) Mabberley var. Elgonensis

(S. amblyphyllus Cotton, S. elgonensis T.C.E. Fr.) RARE

Plant erect, 4.5-7.5m, with dead leaves hanging downwards. Leaves panduriform or petiolate (at lower altitudes), base decurrent, apex rounded or acute, margin dentate, 25-80 by 12-23cm, glabrous but for the barbate-tomentose midrib. Ray florets yellow, 14-19 by 2-3mm; inflorescences oblong-pyramidal.

K35; 2700-4200m; I-III, XII

(Riverine in) moorland. Endemic to Mr. Elgon (also on Ugandan side).

- ssp. elgonensis (T.C.E. Fr.) Mabberley var. ligulatus (Cotton & Blakel.) C. Jeffrey

(S. barbatipes Hedb.) RARE

Plant erect, 3-7.5m, with some dead leaves hanging downward. Leaves elliptic, base (sub-)cordate, apex rounded or obtuse, margin dentate, 28-90 by 12-30cm, barbate-tomentose beneath. Tube florets only. Inflorescences oblong-pyramidal, 0.9-1.2 m.

K3; 3750-4200m; I-II, V, XII

On sheltered slopes. Endemic to Mr. Elgon (also on Ugandan side).

2. Senecio keniensis Bak.

Thin-stemmed, creeping and rooting plants. Leaves with winged petioles. Ray and tube florets present.

1. Leaf indument densely tomentose, abruptly stopping at petiole ssp. Keniensis

* Leaf indument unform, glabrous or pubescent ssp. brassiciformis

- ssp. brassiciformis (R.E. & T.C.E. Fr.) C. Jeffrey (S. brassiciformis R.E. & T.C.E. Fries) RARE

Plant creeping, 0.9-1.2m. Leaves elliptic, base attenuate, apex acute, margin dentate, 25-70 by 7.5-20cm. Ray florets yellow, 13-22 by 2-3mm.

K34; 2950-3600m; III, V-VI

Swampy sites; endemic to Nyandarua/Aberdares.

- ssp. keniensis (S. brassica R.E. & T.C.E. Fries) RARE

Plant creeping, 0.6-2m. Leaves slightly panduriform, apex acute or obtuse, margin dentate, 20-40 by 7-18cm. Ray florets yellow (to purple ?), 14-25 by 2-4mm.

K4; 3300-4500m; I-II, V-XII

Swampy sites; endemic to Mt. Kenya.

3. Senecio keniensis ssp. keniensis x keniodendron

This hybrid is quite common on Mt Kenya.

4. Senecio keniodendron R.E & T.C.E. Fries RARE

Plants erect, 1 -6m, sparsely branched, with dead leaves hanging downwards; bark deeply ribbed, corky. Leaves slightly panduriform, apex rounded, margin dentate, 27-60 by 9-20cm, glabrous but for the barbate-tomentose midrib. Tube florets only, yellow. Inflorescence with nodding heads, to 1.2 m.

K4; 3750-4250m; II, VII, IX-X

Alpine belt, common. Endemic to Mt. Kenya and Nyandarua/Aberdares.

5. Senecio maranguensis H.Hoffm.

Shrub 0.4-3m. Leaves elliptic, base cuneate to rounded (and often with auricles at the base of the petiole), apex acute, margin dentate, 8-15 by 2.5-5cm, pubescent. Rowers yellow, in axillary and terminal panicles.

K3; 3000-3500m; IV*

Hagenia belt and lower moorlands on southern Nyandarua/Aberdares and Cheranganis.

Solanecio mannii


Herbs, shrubs or climbers; leaves alternate, simple (in this species), slightly fleshy; tube florets only; inflorescence a large terminal panicle. Pappus of simple hairs.

1. Climber 1. S. angulatus

* Shrub or tree 2. S. mannii

1. Solanecio angulatus (Vahl) C. Jeffrey

[Crassocephalum bojeri (DC.) Robyns]

Brittle scandent shrub, woody near base, with subsucculent branches and leaves. Leaves deeply pinnatifid, margins dentate, 6-11 by 4-8cm, glabrous. Flower-heads yellow, in terminal panicles.

K123467; 1-500(coast)& 1100-2100m(inland);I-III, V-VIII, XI-XII

Forest margins, (evergreen) bushland, riverine vegetation.

Aldakharo (BOR), Reza (GIR), Sarkach (PKM), Laitangeshoi (SAM).

Solanecio angulatus

Solanecio mannii

2. Solanecio mannii (Hook.f.) C. Jeffrey

(Crassocephalum mannii (Hook.f.) Milne-Redh.)

Shrub or tree 1-10m, subsucculent. Stem green, with prominent leafscars, or bark grey. Leaves narrowly elliptic, base attenuate, apex acuminate, margins deeply serrate, 10-40 by 3-11cm. Flowers yellow or orange, scented; heads 5-8-flowered, 5-7mm long, in many-flowered panicles 15-80cm long.

K1234567; (80) 700-2650m; I-XII

In dry or evergreen forest edges, degraded or secondary forest, also riverine and on rocky slopes in bush-land.

Mooa, Ilangala (KAM), Musariki, Mwathathi, Muthakwa waati (KIK), Chepkurbet (KIP), Marowo (LUO), Ol-musakwa-entim, Ol-airamirami (MAA), Tergekwa (MAR), Mutomboro (MER), Lugugutt (SAM), Mukorombosha (TAI), Kaibaraki (TIR). Often used as a hedge plant.


Heathlike, with very densely set leaves. Florets tubular, in many-flowered heads; inflorescences many together, in sessile axillary clusters. Pappus of barbed bristles.

Stoebe kilimandscharica O.Hoffm.

var. densiflora O.Hoffm.

Shrub 1.2-6m; bark grey, longitudinally fissured.

Leaves linear, 2-4.5 by about 0.5mm, densely tomentose. Florets goldenbrown or yellow.

K 2346; (2550-) 2700-3900m; I-III, VIII-X, XII

Heathzone and moorland, also in bamboo and Hagenia-Hypericum zones. Locally dominant.

Muhathu, Muthithinda (KIK), Chepsikara (MAR), Ol-kibejus (MAA), Sesindot, Sabuldet (SEB).

Stoebe kilimandscharica

Stoebe kilimandscharica

Tarchonanthus camphoratus

Tarchonanthus camphoratus

Tarchonanthus camph.


Leaves alternate, aromatic. Flowers dioecious with tube florets only; heads in much branched axillary and terminal panicles. Pappus woolly.

Tarchonanthus camphoratus L.

Shrub or tree 1-7.5m; bark brown or grey, longitudinally fissured, peeling in long strips. Leaves camphor-scented when crushed, silvery-white beneath, narrowly elliptic, base cuneate (rounded), apex acute or obtuse, margin entire or (in young plants) serrate, rarely dentate, 3.5-1.5 by 1-4.5cm, felty beneath. Florets white or pale yellow; heads 4-5mm, in 5-20cm long inflorescences. Fruits woolly.

K123456; (1200-) 1500-2300m; I-XII

Common to dominant in evergreen or semi-deciduous bushland, and bushed grassland, especially on stony soils.

Mkalambati (S W A), Mururicua (KIK), Lelechuet (KIP, TUG), Ol-leleshwa (MAA), Elewa (TUG). Used for hutbuilding and firewood.


Leaves alternate or opposite, lobed. Heads terminal, solitary on a long thickened peduncle. Ray and tube florets present. Pappus of short scales.

Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray

Woody herb or (scandent) shrub 1.2-3m. Leaves opposite or alternate, 3(-5) lobed (occasionally the upper leaves are unlobed), base attenuate or decurrent, apex acute or acuminate, margin crenate, 5-17 by 3.5-12cm, densely pubescent beneath; venation palmate. Florets yellow, rays 3-6 by 0.5-1.8cm. Heads solitary on a 6-13cm long peduncle.

K3457; 550-1950m; I-XII

Escaped from cultivation (it is often used as a hedgeplant), gone wild in roadsides near rivers and on waste ground.

Tithonia diversifolia

Tithonia diversifolia


Leaves alternate. Heads many, in terminal corymbs. Florets tubular, blue, white or purple, rarely yellow. Pappus of (scales) and bristles.

1. Leafbase auriculate (rarely no auricles in V. auriculifera) 2



* Leafbase without auricles 8

2. Heads 1-flowered, 1-3mm across 4. V. auriculifera

* Heads with more florets, more than 3mm across 3

3. Phyllaries with petaloid appendage 15. V. hymenolepis

* Phyllaries without such an appendage 4

4. Phyllaries 8-19mm long; heads solitary 10. V. fischeri

* Phyllaries less than 9mm long, heads in corymbs 5

5. Leaves densely pubescent to woolly tomentose beneath 17. V. myriantha

* Leaves sandpapery, either above or beneath 6

6. Plant of altitudes below 900m; phyllaries 2-5mm long 12. V. hildebrandtii

* Plant of altitudes above 1200m, phyllaries 3.5- 9mm long 7

7. Leaves sandpapery above, short-pubescent beneath (Taita Hills) 23. V. usambarensis

* Leaves glabrescent above, slightly sandpapery beneath 21. V. theophrastifolia

8. Florets yellow or blue-green 9

* Florets white, mauve or purple 10

9. Florets bright yellow; leaves slightly sandpapery 3. V. aurantiaca

* Florets pale yellow-green or bluegreen; leaves subglabrous 24. V. wakefieldii

10. Leaves subcordate or truncate at base 11

* Leaves cuneate or attenuate at base (rarely rounded) 12

11. Petiole 5-8mm long; heads 11-15mm across 5. V. biafrae

* Petiole 10-25mm long; heads 5-8mm across 20. V. syringifolia

12. Involucre (phyllaries) more than 10mm long 13

* Involucre less than 10mm long 15

13. Tree to 7.5m, found once near Taveta; phyllaries spreading 8. V. colorata

* Shrubs to 4m; phyllaries appressed 14

14. Leaves ovate or elliptic, petiole less than 3mm long 1. V. adoensis

* Leaves narrowly elliptic, petiole 5-10mm long 15. V. hymenolepis

15. Pappus violet at flowering time, clearly visible 6. V. brachycalyx

* Pappus white or brown during flowering 16

16. Leaves narrowly obovate (less than 1.5cm wide), not sandpapery, rounded at apex 7. V. cinerascens

* Leaves acute or acuminate at apex, or if rounded then slightly sandpapery above 17

17. Leaves sandpapery above 18

* Leaves not sandpapery above 23

18. Leaves ovate, densely pubescent or tomentose beneath 19

* Leaves elliptic or obovate, pubescent beneath 21

19. Heads 13-18mm across 13. V. holstii

* Heads 6-10mm across 20

20. Phyllaries appressed, ovate, more than 2mm wide 8. V. colorata

* Phyllaries spreading, narrowly elliptic, less than 1.5mm wide 26. V. zanzibarensis

21. Involucre 2-3.5mm long; leaves with a few obtuse teeth 14. V. homilantha

* Involucre to 9.5mm long; leaves dentate- serrate 22

22. Climber; leaves 3-9 by 1.3-2.4cm 22. V. urticifolia

* Shrub; leaves 10-25 by 3-8cm 18. V. pteropoda

23. Phyllaries with appendage near the tip 24

* Phyllaries without appendage 26

24. Appendage 4-10mm long; heads 10-25mm across 15. V. hymenolepis

*-a Appendage 2-7mm long; heads 5-10mm across 9. V. dumicola

*-b Appendage 10-15mm long; heads 6-10mm across 8. V. colorata

*-c Appendage 1-3mm long; heads 5-15mm across 25

25. Appendage green; leaves elliptic or obovate, 1- 2cm wide 19. V. schimperi

* Appendage pink or white; leaves ovate or elliptic, 1.6-9cm wide 16. V. lasiopus

26. Twigs puberulous 25. V. wollastonii

* Twigs pubescent or tomentose 27

27. Phyllaries rounded at apex 28

* Phyllaries acute or acuminate 29

28. Involucre 4-8mm long 8. V. colorata

* Involucre 3-4mm long 2. V. amygdalina

29. Leafmargin (sub)entire 8. V. colorata

* Leafmargin rough-dentate 12. V. hochstetteri

1. Vernonia adoensis Walp.

Woody herb or shrub 0.3-3m. Leaves ovate or elliptic, base cuneate or attenuate, apex acute or shortly acuminate, margin crenate-dentate, 4-15 by 1.5-6cm, tomentose beneath. Florets white or mauve, phyllaries to 15mm long; heads 20-45 across, 1 -3 per inflorescence.

K2356; 1250-2150m; II, IV-XI

(Disturbed) bushland or grassland.

Kuom-Tepengwet (KIP), Nyang'ony-Akuodi (LUO), Ol-ekoru (MAA), Kiptamit (MAR). Leaves are crushed in cold water and applied to tick sores by Maasai.

Vernonia adoensis

Vernonia amygdalina

Vernonia aurantiaca

Vernonia auriculifera

Vernonia biafrae

2. Vernonia amygdalina Del.

Shrub or tree 1.8-7.5m; bark pale grey; twigs tomentose. Leaves ovate or elliptic, base cuneate, apex acute, margin entire or dentate, 5-17 by 2-8cm, (sparsely) pubescent beneath. Florets cream or white, phyllaries 3-4mm long with dark tips; heads 5-9mm across.

K2356; 900-1500m; IV, VIII-IX, XI-XII*

Lake shores, riverine, along luggas.

Omororia (KIS), Omulusya, Musuritsa, Olumulusya (LUH), Olusia (LUO), Cheburiandet (NAN). Branches are termite-resistant.

3. Vernonia aurantiaca (O.Hoffm.) N.E. Br.

Scrambler 1.2-4 (8)m, divaricately branching. Leaves ovate or elliptic, base decurrent, apex acute, margin entire or dentate, 2.5-9 by 1-5cm, 3-veined from base, scabridulous on both sides. Florets yellow, phyllaries 2.5-7mm long; heads 5-8mm across, in dense inflorescences.

K1; 1050-1650; II, IV, VII-VIII, X-XI*

Bushland on steep rocky slopes.

Mukmu Chuma (BOR), Ngila (REN).

4. Vernonia auriculifera Hiern

Woody herb or shrub, 1.8-7.5m, spreading. Leaves (narrowly) elliptic, base auriculate and amplexicaul, apex acute, margin serrate, 6-50 by 1.5-22cm, densely tomentose beneath. Florets purple or white, phyllaries 4-7mm, purple-tipped; heads 1-flowered, 1-3mm across, in dense inflorescneces.

K23456; 1600-2650m; I-IV, VIII-XII.

Forest edges, cleared land, woodland and grassland derived from forests, riverine or along lakeshores. Muthakwa, Muchatha, Musakwa (KIK), Musabakwa (KIS), Olusia (LUO), Ol-masakwa (MAA), Turogogwa (MAR), Tabenguet (SEB), Tebinguet (TUG). Leaves and stems used in the construction of huts.

5. Vernonia biafrae Oliv. & Hiern

(Vernonia tufnelliae S.Moore)

(Scrambling) shrub 0.7-1.8m, stems brittle. Leaves ovate, base truncate, apex acute or acuminate, margin coarsely crenate, 1.5-5 by 0.8-3.2cm, puberulous.

Florets purple, lilac, or white, phyllaries purple-tipped, 3.5-8mm long; heads 11-15mm across.

K345; 1600-2400m; VIII-X, XII*

Forest edges, thickets, wet grassland.

6. Vernonia brachycalyx O.Hoffm.

(Scandent) shrub 1-4 (6)m. Leaves ovate or elliptic, base decurrent, apex acute, margin entire or dentate, 3.5-16 by 1.5-7cm, slightly sandpapery above, pubescent beneath. Florets mauve or white, phyllaries 2-3mm long; heads 3-5mm across, in dense inflorescences; pappus violet at flowering stage, later brown.

K123456; 1000-2400m; I-XII

Common in dry forest (edges) and semideciduous clump bushland; also riverine and in roadsides.

Mutei (KIK), Kuombereriet (KIP), Kimagoi, Chebongwony (MAR), Ol-ogomati (MAA), Lokomati (SAM), Gugutu (NDO). An infusion of the leaves is used against malaria by Maasai and Kipsigis and Maasai use the twigs to make fire by friction.

7. Vernonia cinerascens Sch.-Bip.

Woody herb or shrub 0.4-3m. Leaves narrowly obovate, base decurrent, apex truncate or rounded, margin crenate near the apex, 0.7-4.5 by 0.3-1.5cm, glabrous or pubescent, glandular. Florets mauve or purple, phyllaries to 3mm long with a purple tip, heads 3-6mm across.

K1234567; 1 - 1250 (1650)m; I-IX, XI-XII

Dry bushland, wooded or bushed grassland, subdesert. Emanange (MAA), Mulambu (MER), Lorosero (NDO), Chesuwarian (PKT), Gelakawet (REN), Torau Magifi (SAM), Esirilipong, Ejulot (TUR).

Vernonia brachycalyx

Vernonia cinerascens

8. Vernonia colorata (Willd.) Drake

ssp. grandis (DC.) C. Jeffrey

Shrub or tree 3.5-6m. Leaves ovate, base cuneate, apex acute; margin entire or remotely dentate, 6-17 by 3-9cm, fulvous-tomentose beneath. Florets pale mauve or white, phyllaries greenish white, 4-8mm long; heads 6-10mm across.

K47; 100-950m; II, IV, VI-IX*

Riverine or dry bushland.

Fuka mwitu (DIG).

- ssp. oxyura (O.Hoffm.) C. Jeffrey (V. oxyura C. Hoffm.).with long (to 15 mm) spreading tips to the phyllaries; K7; 750m; - *

Once collected in Lumi R. forest near Taveta.

9. S. dumicola S. Moore

Woody herb or shrub to 3m. Leaves narrowly elliptic, base cuneate, apex acute, margin dentate, 4-18 by 0.8-2.5cm, tomentose beneath. Florest pale mauve or white, phyllaries with appendages 2-7mm long. K5; Kitale-Eldoret area, in swamps.

10. Vernonia fischeri O.Hoffm.

(V. sp. B of UKWF) RARE

(Scandent) shrub 1.8-3m, occasionally thicketforming.

Leaves ovate or elliptic, base auriculate, apex acute, margin entire or dentate, 4-10 by 1.5-4cm, sandpapery. Florets pale violet or mauve, phyllaries 8- 14mm long; heads solitary, about 30mm across.

K4; 900-1350m, I-II, XII*

Found only three times at Mwingi and Makueni, once on an inselberg. Endemic.

11. Vernonia hildebrandtii Vatke

Woody herb or erect or trailing shrub 0.6-3m. Leaves aromatic when crushed, ovate or elliptic, base (slightly) auriculate, apex acute, margin crenate, 2-7.5 by 1-4.5cm, sandpapery above and short scabrid-pubescent beneath. Florets pale mauve or white, phyllaries 2-5mm long, mauve-tipped; heads 3-5mm across.

K127; 1-900m; I-XII

Common in bushland/grassland margins on the coast; inland rare, riverine in dry areas.

Wacha (SWA), Basuba (BON), Chiwaatsa (DIG), Mlakasoma (GIR), Orbisa (ILW), Musuritsa (LUH).

Eaten raw for stomach trouble, decoction used as snakebite antidote (coast).

Vernonia colorata

Vernonia hildebrandtii

12. Vernonia hochstetteri Walp.

(Vernonia jugalis Oliv. & Hiern)

Woody herb or shrub 1-3 (5)m. Leaves elliptic or ovate, base cuneate, apex acute or acuminate, margin distantly dentate, 5-28 by 2-11cm, densely pubescent beneath. Florets blue-mauve or pale purple, phyllaries reddish-tipped, 4-7mm long; heads 5-15mm across. K34567; (1000) 1800-2700m; I-IV, VI, VIII-XII Forest edges or (disturbed) upland bushland.

Muturanguru (KIK).

13. Vernonia holstii O.Hoffm.

Woody herb or shrub 0.3-2.5m. Leaves ovate, base cuneate, apex acute or acuminate, margin long-dentate, 4.5-15 by 2-7.5cm, sandpapery above, white-tomentose beneath. Florets lilac or white, phyllaries pale reddish purple, with 5-10mm long appendage; heads 13-18mm across.

K467; 1000-2050m; I, IV-IX

Dry forest edges and clearings, locally common.

Esadhi (LUO).

Vernonia hochstetteri

Vernonia holstii

Vernonia homilantha

Vernonia hymenolepis

14. Vernonia homilantha S.Moore

Scrambling shrub 1-3m, spreading and much-branched.

Leaves elliptic or obovate, base cuneate or decurrent, apex acute or obtuse, margin with a few obtuse teeth, 2.5-7.5 by 1-3cm, scabridulous above and shortly pubescent beneath. Florets mauve, phyllaries 2-3.5mm long; heads 3-7mm across.

K7; 1-50m; I, III-VIII, X, XII

Light bush or thickets close to the sea, on dunes.

Mlalapili (SWA), Mlakasoma (GIR).

15. Vernonia hymenolepis A.Rich.

[V. calvoana (Hook.f.) Hook.f., V. homilocephala S.Moore]

Shrub 1.2-4m. Leaves (narrowly) elliptic, base cuneate or auriculate, apex acute, margin serrate or dentate, 6-23 by 1.5-7cm, pubescent or grey tomentose beneath.

Florets pale mauve, phyllaries with white or pale lilac appendages, 4-16 by 5-8mm; heads 10-35mm across.

K12356; 1600-2850m; I-III, VI-XII

Disturbed places, grassland and thicket edges, upland bushland, bushed grassland.

Musuritsa (LUH).

16. Vernonia lasiopus O.Hoffm.

Woody herb or (semiscandent) shrub 0.9-3m. Leaves ovate or elliptic, base cuneate or decurrent, apex acute, margin roughly dentate, 4-18 by 1.6-9cm, tomentose beneath. Florets pale mauve or white, phyllaries with pink or white appendages 1-3mm long; heads 5-10mm across.

K1234567; 1050-2550m; I-XII

Common in disturbed vegetation, (bushed) grassland and riverine woodland or forest.

Muvatha (KAM), Mucatha (KIK), Kwam-tebenguet (KIP), Olusia (LUO), Ol-euguru (MAA), Nkaputi (SAM). Used against malaria by Kikuyu, against scabies by Kamba, against venereal disease by Luo, pounded leaves are applied to sores to kill maggots by Maasai; branches used in building huts.

Vernonia lasiopus

Vernonia lasiopus

Vernonia myriantha

17. Vernonia myriantha Hook.f.

[Vernonia subuligera O.Hoffm., V. ampla O.Hoffm.] Shrub 1.8-4m. Leaves elliptic or slightly obovate, base auriculate and amplexicaul, margin long dentate-serrate, 5-40 by 1.5-15cm, pubescent or woolly-tomentose beneath. Florets pale pink or white, phyllaries green with purple tips, 5-7mm long; heads 6-10mm across.

K4567; 1600-1950m; VII, IX-X*

Forest edges and ruderal places.

Kumusobia (LUH). Used as a hedge plant.

18. Vernonia pteropoda Oliv. & Hiern

Woody herb or shrub 0.6-2.4m. Leaves elliptic or slightly obovate, base long decurrent, apex acuminate, margin dentate-serrate, 10-25 by 3-8cm, sandpapery above, sparsely sandpapery-pubescent beneath. Florets pale mauve or white, phyllaries to 10mm long; heads 4-7mm across.

K4; 1900-2550m; I, IV, XI-XII*

Wet montane (riverine) forest.

Vernonia pteropoda

Vernonia syringifolia

Vernonia theophrastifolia

Vernonia urticifolia

19. Vernonia schimperi DC.

(Vernonia abyssinica Walp.)

Shrub 1-1.5m. Leaves elliptic or obovate, base cuneate, apex acute, margin coarsely serrate-dentate, 2-5.5 by 1 -2cm, pubescent beneath. Florets white or pale pink, phyllaries white, to 8mm long, with a 2-3mm long green appendage; heads 7-15mm across.

K1; 950-1350m; II, V-VI*

Common in roadsides, bushland, grassland, and forest margins in Marsabit.

20. V. syringifolia O.Hoffm.

Woody herb or (scandent) shrub 1-10m, stem black. Leaves ovate, base often unequal, cordate or truncate, apex acute or acuminate, margin dentate, 3-11 by 1.4-5.5cm, scabridulous above, puberulous or pubescent beneath. Florets deep mauve, phyllaries green, occasionally purple-tinged, 6-7mm long; heads 5-8mm across.

K3456; 1900-3150m; I-IV, VII-XII

Ruderal places or edges of drier upland forests.

NOTE: Very close to V. syringifolia is V. subscandens R.E. Fr. (= sp. E of UKWF) distinguished by the hairy (instead of glabrous) achenes. The other characters mentioned by Agnew, i.e. winged petioles and more tomentose leaves and stems, are rather variable and also found (to some extent) in V. syringifolia. V. subscandens is a (climbing) shrub of 2.5-4 m.

K14; 1650-2100m; I-III, VIII, XI*

Thickets or dry upland forest margins.

21. V. theophrastifolia Oliv. & Hiern

[V. richardiana (Kntze.) Pic.-Ser., V. sereti De Wild.] Shrub 1-3m. Leaves elliptic or (narrowly) obovate, base broadly auriculate, apex acute or obtuse, margin serrate or entire, 4-29 by 1.5-16cm, scabridulous beneath. Florets purple or mauve, phyllaries 6-9mm long; heads 4-7mm across in large subumbellate inflorescences.

K35; 1200-1800m; VIII, XII* Presumably bushland; only collected 3 or 4 times. Sabahua (LUH), Olusia (LUO).

22. Vernonia urticifolia A.Rich.

Climber to 8m, ultimate branchlets hanging. Leaves elliptic, base cuneate, apex acute, margin dentate, 3-9 by 1.3-2.4cm, sandpapery-pubescent. Florets pale purple or white, phyllaries purple-edged, to 10mm long; heads 6-12mm across, on large inforescences. K345; 2150-2850m; I-V, XII*

(Drier) forest margins or bamboo edges, locally common.

Uruti (KIK), Chemul Kwambereriet (KIP).

23. Vernonia usambarensis O.Hoffm.

Woody herb or shrub 0.9-2.5m. Leaves (narrowly) elliptic, base shortly auriculate, apex acute, margin crenate-dentate, 4-9 by 1.5-2.7cm, sandpapery above, short-pubescent beneath. Florets purple or mauve, phyllaries mauve, 3.5-7mm long; heads 5-8mm across.

K7; 1250-1350m; II, V, XII*

Collected three times in the Taita Hills, reported to be common in roadsides and around shambas.

Mbanda (TAI). Flowers are thought to cause eyesores.

24. Vernonia wakefieldii Oliv.

Semiscandent shrub 0.9-3m, rather succulent-stemmed; twigs white-floccose. Leaves semi-succulent, narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate, base cuneate or decurrent, apex acute, margin entire, 3-13 by 0.6-4cm, more or less glabrous. Florets yellow-green or blue-green, phyllaries with dark tips, to 15mm long; heads 8-15mm across.

K1467; 1-1700m; I-II, V-VIII, X-XI

Dry bushland, often on rocky hillsides.

Kitorja kikubwa (SWA), Mweia (KAM), Kilumangonde (TAI).

Vernonia wakefieldii

Vernonia wollastonii

25. Vernonia wollastonii S.Moore

Semiscandent or sprawling shrub or woody herb 0.9m to "very long". Leaves ovate, base rounded or cuneate, apex long-acute, margin dentate, 3-9 by 1.3-3.5cm, puberulous or short-pubescent with small glands beneath. Florets mauve, phyllaries to 6mm long; heads 5-7mm across.

K357; 1600-2250m; I, IV, VIII, X-XI*

Humid forest margins or clearings.

26. Vernonia zanzibarensis Loes.

Shrub, occasionally slightly scandent, 1.2-3m. Leaves aromatic when crushed, ovate, base cuneate, apex short-acuminate, margin crenate, 3-14 by 1.5-7cm, sandpapery above, pubescent to tomentose (and pale-green) beneath. Florets pale purple or white, phyllaries 3-8mm long, heads 6-9mm across.

K7; 1-450m; II-III, VI-IX, XI-XII

Common in forest/bushland margins in Shimba Hills and Arabuko-Sokoke; may form pure stands.

Mrusa pungu (SWA), (Chi) waatsa (DIG), Mlazakomo, Mubale (GIR).

Vernonia zanzibarensis