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Icacinaceae

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Icacinaceae  Miers 1851

The Icacinaceae is a heterogeneous family of around 55 genera and 400 species of tropical dicotyledenous flowering shrubs, trees and climbing vines. Leaves are usually alternate and simple and of a tough, leathery nature with marked venation. Tendrils are present in a few species. The small regular, bisexual flowers with 3 - 6 fold symmetry, are produced in clusters and are white or greenish-white. Fruits are typically drupes or in a few species samaras.
 
Several species of Pennantia and Villaresia are cultivated as ornamental shrubs in frost-free cimates.
 
Succulent genera: Pyrenacantha

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Pyrenacantha  Hooker 1830

The genus Pyrenacantha (Synonym: Trematosperma) includes succulent species that can produce very large caudexes with vining top growths. As with other caudiciforms, the watering regime should be sensitive to growth and dormant phases. The soil should be very gritty and free-draining with as much sunlight as possible.

Pyrenacantha malvifolia  Engler 1893  Syn. Trematosperma cordatum Urban 1883 (Monkey Chair)
A large succulent caudiciform tuber which in its habitat may grow as big as a boulder (150 cms) produces a seasonal vining top growth of up to 15 metres, with green heart shaped leaves. New leaves are glossy, becoming matt or slightly pubescent and have prominent venation. The conical green inflorescence carries numerous tiny yellowish flowers.

Pyrenacantha malvifolia Pyrenacantha malvifolia Pyrenacantha malvifolia  

In its habitat of hot, dry hillsides it may scramble through shrubs and into branches of trees. In cultivation, supports are needed to keep the extensive growth under control. This tender species originates in East Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania).