Euphorbia venefica Trémaux ex Kotschy (Euphorbiaceae) and other shrub-like cylindrically stemmed Euphorbia with spirally arranged single spines

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  • Odile Weber
  • Ergua Atinafe
  • Tesfaye Awas
  • Friis, Ib
On two independent field trips in 2015 and 2018, the authors collected a tall shrublike succulent species of Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae) in Combretum-Terminalia woodland of the Omo Valley in south-western Ethiopia. These collections represent the easternmost records of E. venefica Trémaux ex Kotschy and are the first records from inside the borders of Ethiopia. Euphorbia venefica belongs to a group of large succulent species with single spines borne on a spine-shield and arranged on the cylindrical stem in a spiral. The species in this group are reviewed here, based on material in herbaria and the literature. The East African E. venefica and the West African E. unispina share potential distribution, have overlapping variation in stem- and leaf-morphology and cannot be separated by the characters mentioned in the literature. We consider these two taxa to be one species, to be called E. venefica and distributed from Burkina Faso to Ethiopia. E. poissonii presents characters that may justify it being a separate species restricted to Africa west of Cameroon. Euphorbia
darbandensis N.E. Br. and E. sapinii De Wild. are too poorly known and could not be placed. Conservation assessments suggest that neither E. venefica, nor E. poissonii are threatened.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin de la Société des naturalistes luxembourgeois
Pages (from-to)57-82
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

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ISSN: 2716-750X (édition en ligne); 0304-9620 (édition imprimée)

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - botany, Africa, Ethiopia, environmental modelling, nomenclatute, Taxonomy, biogeography, Sudanian zone, woodlands, succulents

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