Flowers as varied as the African continent itself
Africa is a continent of many contrasts. You have many miles of coast. Mountainous regions in the south. Arid deserts in the north. Sub-Saharan rain forests. Freshwater lakes and rivers. Island nations such as Madagascar (with its vanilla orchids!). All of these different soils and precipitations produce vastly differing blooms.
Although not many African nations have national flowers, they are one of the world's leading exporters of cut flowers. South Africa is responsible for many of the flowering bulbs planted in gardens across the globe. Tourists flock to areas like Namaqualand to view its stunning natural landscapes, littered with flowers.
Explore Africa's fascinating world of flowers.
Yummy Namaqualand Flowers! - A giant slug's dinner
Although this isn't strictly about flowers, here is a flower lover in Namaqualand: a giant slug. The flowers you are viewing are about 1" long. The slugs get to be about the size of an adult's hand.
National Flowers of Africa
Most African nations do not have a national flower. I researched all of them and this is what I came up with.
Egypt - Lotus
Ethiopia - Calla Lily
Kenya - Tropical Orchid (Not Officially Recognized)
Lesotho - Aloe Vera
Liberia - Pepper
Libya - Pomegranate Blossom
Madagascar - Poinciana
South Africa - King Protea
Tunisia - Jasmine
Zambia - Bougainvillea
Zimbabwe - Flame Lily
The King Protea
Love looking at and learning about the King Protea flower? This book is for you.
Wake up to a vase of protea flowers every morning and start your day off with a smile.
South African Wildflowers - The Botanical Garden at Table Mountain, Capetown and wildflowers on the Southern Coast
View a pictorial slideshow of the flowers of South Africa. Shots are taken of wildflowers along South Africa's coast and also from the Table Mountain Botanical Garden in Capetown.
South African Plants
African Violets - Grow your own at home.
The 'African Violet' is native to the Nguru Mountains in Tanzania.
Bioko is a "pretty flower"
Portuguese explorer, Fernando Po (Fernao do Poo) is credited with discovering Bioko Island in 1471. He called it Formosa ("pretty flower"), however, it quickly took on his name, Bioko.
South African Flower Bulbs - Buy them to plant in your garden
This selection of YouTube videos from South African Flower Bulbs features: Sparaxis "Harlequin" flowers, Oxalis ground covers, Crocosmia (Montbreesia), Eucomis (Pineapple Lillies), Nerine, Amaryllis Belladonna (Naked Ladies), Agapanthas (Lily of the Nile), Tritonia and Babiana (Baboon Flower).
Information that rings true for most of these bulbs is that you plant them with the crown pointing up, usually in a triangle of three bulbs (spaced 6" apart). If you're doubtful as to which direction to plant them, plant them sideways. Most will remain hardy year after year, but sometimes you should place a container in the garage during cold winter weather as an added protection.
Books on How To Use And / Or Identify South African Flowers for the Garden
Getting the word out online about your own area of expertise.
Focus on it with a Squidoo lens.
Sign up at Squidoo and make your own lens! Do you have some knowledge about flowers or anything else that you'd like to share? Sign up at Squidoo, make your own lens and be sure to let me know. I'll pop by and have a look!
Do you have a favorite African flower? Is it South Africa's King Protea or Egypt's Lotus Flower? Did you enjoy visiting this lens? Do you plant South African bulbs in your garden? Have you visited Namaqualand? Shout about it here!
Contact Laura Schofield
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