Stephania abyssinica

Stephania abyssinica, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed at Kapsabet, Kenya. April 2013. At top right is a cluster of numerous, small, unopened flower buds.

A twining vine with hairy stems and leaves that are attached near their centers. Climbing up to four meters tall from a large, woody crown. Plants prefer moist shady spots at the margins of woods or swamps. The plant pictured could be referred to as variety tomentosa due to dense hairs.

Menispermaceae -- Moonseed Family

The leaves of the plant below have been colonized by nearly microscopic mites belonging to the family Eriophyidae. The blisters form from the underside of the leaf in response to the arachnids' feeding. Dozens of mites remain concealed inside each blister-cavity. Observed at Eldoret, December 2013.

mite galls on Stephania leaf near Eldoret, Kenya  fruit is a drupe, Stephania abyssinica, leaf near Iten, Kenya

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 16 Oct. 2013,
updated 4 January 2015.