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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Podalyrieae
Genus: Xiphotheca
Species: X. canescens – X. cordifolia – X. elliptica – X. fruticosa – X. guthriei – X. lanceolata – X. phylicoides – X. reflexa – X. rosmarinifolia – X. tecta
Source(s) of checklist:

Xiphotheca Eckl. & Zeyh., Enum. Pl. Afric. Austral.: 166 (1836).
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Africa
Regional: Southern Africa
Cape Provinces.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Ecklon, C.F. & Zeyher, C. 1836-1837. Enumeratio plantarum africae australis extratropicae. Pars 2 & 3. Pp.145–400. Hamburg. BHL Reference page. : 166

Additional references

Schutte, A.L. & Van Wyk, B.E. 1993. The reinstatement of the genus Xiphotheca (Fabaceae). Taxon 42(1): 43–49. DOI: 10.2307/1223301 JSTOR Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Xiphotheca in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 26. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Xiphotheca. Published online. Accessed: May 26 2021.
Tropicos.org 2021. Xiphotheca. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 26.
Hassler, M. 2021. Xiphotheca. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 26. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Xiphotheca. Accessed: 26 May 2021.

Xiphotheca is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. It belongs to the subfamily Faboideae. The name of the genus is a compound of Ancient Greek ξίφος (ksíphos), which means "sword", and θήκη (thēkē) which can mean "box" or "sheath"—a reference to the shape of the legume pods.[1] Members of this genus can be distinguished by:

"(1) the presence of bracteoles in most species; (2) the fusion of the bracts with the base of the pedicel; (3) the laterally compressed pods; and (4) the accumulation of anabasine as a major alkaloid."[1]


Xiphotheca comprises the following species:[2][1][3]
Section Congestae

Xiphotheca fruticosa (L.) A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk
Xiphotheca guthriei (L. Bolus) A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk
Xiphotheca lanceolata (E. Mey.) Eckl. & Zeyh.
Xiphotheca reflexa (Thunb.) A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk

Section Xiphotheca

Xiphotheca canescens (Thunb.) A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk
Xiphotheca cordifolia A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk
Xiphotheca elliptica (DC.) A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk
Xiphotheca phylicoides A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk
Xiphotheca tecta (Thunb.) A. L. Schutte & B.-E. van Wyk


Schutte AL (1997). "A revision of the genus Xiphotheca (Fabaceae)". Ann Missouri Bot Gard. 84 (1): 90–102. doi:10.2307/2399955. JSTOR 2399955.
Schutte AL, Van Wyk B-E (1993). "The Reinstatement of the Genus Xiphotheca (Fabaceae)". Taxon. 41 (1): 43–49. doi:10.2307/1223301. JSTOR 1223301.
USDA; ARS; National Genetic Resources Program. "GRIN species records of Xiphotheca". Germplasm Resources Information Network—(GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

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