Mali is a landlocked country with a desert regions that covers close to 33% of the nation's total land area. It has three vegetation zones which are Saharan zone, Sahelian zone, and Sudan-guinea savanna zone. The Saharan region, fixed with dunes and steppes contains plants made up of thick leaves and thorny plants. The Sahelian zone has thorny plants and shrubby savannas, and the Sudanese area has herbaceous vegetation and trees such as baobab and Shea. Mali's flora includes the endemic Acridocarpus monodii, an endangered plant distantly related to Acerola.
Fringed Bladderwort (Utricularia simulans)
Utricularia simulans is a carnivorous plant that grows in damp sandy soils in areas with altitudes of 1,575 meters above sea level. It is endemic to central Mali and restricted to Bandiagara escarpments. It grows in areas with underground water especially at the base of cliffs. It also occurs in parts of the Americas, including Cuba, Colombia, and Guyana. It has a basal rosette of linear green aerial leaves that are 5 to 10 millimeters long and longer in more wet locations. Flowers are bright yellow with a longer lower lip. They occur in clusters of 2 to 4. The seeds are brown, smooth and ovoid. The trunk connects with underground stems and stolons
African Custard Apple (Annona senegalensis)
The African custard apple is a shrub tree that grows to between 2 and 6 meters tall. Its bark is smooth and can be gray-silver or gray-brown. Branches are thick and gray, brown or yellow. Leaves occur in alternates are long and blue-green and are hairy on the undersides. The leaves have entire margins, square bases, and stout petioles. Its flowers grow to almost 3 centimeters in diameter. Fruits are green when young and yellow when ripe and eventually orange when they are fully mature. They grow in areas around the coastal regions usually on coral-based sandy and loamy soils, 2,400 meters above sea level and temperatures ranging between 17 and 30 degrees Celsius. They also occur in areas of Africa in the islands of Indian Ocean.
Thorn Apple (Solanum incanum)
The Thorn Apple is an herb that grows up to 1.8 meters tall. It has spikes on the stems and stalk with velvet hairs on the leaves. Leaves are egg-shaped, wide end at the base with wavy margins and occur in alternates. The upper surface of the leaves is gray-green, and the lower surfaces are green-white. Flowers occur in leaf axils and may be solitary or in clusters. Fruits are yellow when young and black when they mature. It grows in woodland areas and along riverine margins and evergreen forest. It also grows in parts of Middle East, India, and East Africa. The weed is usually invasive and toxic and is considered a threat to herbivores, hence is under threats of destruction by herbicides or prevention of growth.
Fine Hood Grass (Hyparrhenia filipendula)
The Fine hood grass is also known as Tambookie grass or fine thatching grass. It is slender and grows up to 150 centimeters tall. The panicle is narrow and loose and forms an L-shape when mature. They occur in areas with an altitude of 2,250 meters above sea-level and rainfall of more than 625 millimeters in a year. It is also endemic to parts of Asia, Sri Lanka, and Australia. It is usually leafy and safe for grazing in the rainy seasons but becomes woody and dry when it matures. It is a fodder crop for wild and domestic grazers but is not well adapted to heavy grazing thus facing a threat of extinction in areas with many animals.
Conservation of Flora in Mali
The rich biodiversity of Mali is reflected in its more than 1,700 plant species, and the presence of around 1,000 species of animals. The native plants include Acridocarpus monodii, Hanza, Karira, Merkba, West African water nymphs, and African mahogany. The threats to these endemic plants are widely from deforestation, excessive hunting, an extension of agricultural land and desertification mostly from the Saharan desert. Conservation of wildlife is in the hands of the national parks of Mali and forest service department.
What Kind of Plants Live in Mali?
Mali's flora includes the endemic Acridocarpus monodii, an endangered plant distantly related to Acerola. Other plants include the karira and the thorn apple.
|Native Plants of Mali||Scientific Name|
|Acridocarpus monodii||Acridocarpus monodii|
|Fringed Bladderwort||Utricularia simulans|
|African Custard Apple||Annona senegalensis|
|Thorn Apple||Solanum incanum|
|West African Water Nymph||Najas hagerupii|
|Fine Hood Grass||Hyparrhenia filipendula|
|African Mahogany||Khaya senegalensis|
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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