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Data from: A taxonomic revision of the African genus Desplatsia Bocq. (Malvaceae - Grewioideae) with identifiers

Cite this dataset

Harris, David; Wellsow, Julia (2019). Data from: A taxonomic revision of the African genus Desplatsia Bocq. (Malvaceae - Grewioideae) with identifiers [Dataset]. Dryad.


A taxonomic revision of Desplatsia Bocq. (Malvaceae s.l., subfamily Grewioideae, tribe Grewieae) based on 810 herbarium specimens is presented. Desplatsia is a genus of trees and shrubs found in tropical West and Central Africa and is characterised by subulately divided stipules, the absence of an androgynophore, stamens that are fused to a tube at the base, and large and distinctive fruits that are dispersed by elephants. Four species are recognized (D. subericarpa, D. chrysochlamys, D. dewevrei and D. mildbraedii) and 12 species names are placed into synonymy, two of which have been put into synonymy for the first time: D. floribunda and D. trillesiana. All four species are locally abundant and their conservation status is assessed as Least Concern (LC). A key to the species, full species descriptions, illustrations, a specimen citation list and distribution maps are provided.


Herbarium specimens of Desplatsia held at BM, BR, E, K, M, and P were studied on visits to those herbaria. In addition digital images of specimens were examined from  HBG, L, U and WAG, altogether representing 810 specimens. Herbarium acronyms follow Index Herbariorum (Thiers, continuously updated). All material cited was seen either as a specimen in a herbarium or as an image. Where possible, the specimens are cited using a stable HTTP URI (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Uniform Resource Identifier) hyperlink to the Index Herbariorum herbarium code in brackets after the collection number (following Hyam et al. 2012).

Morphological characters are described and measurements taken from dried herbarium material and from field information given on herbarium labels (when possible). This is supplemented by information from the species descriptions in the Flora of Tropical East Africa (Verdcourt and Mwachala 2009). Flowering and fruiting periods given are based on information from herbarium specimen labels.

The terminology in the descriptions follows Harris & Woolf Harris (1994).

The keys and descriptions were prepared in a way to include as many vegetative and field characters as possible to make the key useful not only to herbarium taxonomists, but also to field botanists.

Plant material studied is listed per country, then alphabetically per collector under each species. Localities are cited as given on the herbarium specimen labels. If no geographical coordinates were available, these localities were determined using the online Global Gazetteer version 2.3 ( Data cleaning was performed by checking location data for potential errors by plotting the collection sites on country maps. Data points in the ocean, in countries that did not match the country given on the herbarium sheet or from locations that the collector is known not to have collected from during the time period given were corrected following Hijmans et al. (1999). Whenever an accession seemed doubtful, the coordinates were checked against the location given on the specimen sheet and discrepancies resolved.Phenetic morphological criteria to delimit species have been chosen for this study. Species are separated by a discontinuity in characters (Crisp & Weston 2010).

Proposed IUCN conservation assessments were assigned following the IUCN categories and criteria version 3.1 (IUCN 2012) and distribution data based on georeferenced specimens as given in the present publication. Extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) were calculated using GeoCAT (Bachman et al. 2011). Full, formal assessments will be submitted to IUCN.

Orcid and wikidata person identifiers and plant names identifiers ( International Plant Names Index IPNI Identifier) were added to selected records of the data that were submitted to the Dryad data repository.

Usage notes

Orcid identifiers and wikidata people identifiers were only added to a limited number of collectors' names as a proof of concept. Due to the time required to find the remaining identifiers the identifier columns are not complete for each collector.