11 Facts on African Flowers
There are many different types of African flowers due to the very different climates which the African continent contains from the Mediterranean coast to mountains, and from steamy rain forests to deserts. The different African flowers reflect their different origins, but it is not always easy to know what kind of flowers from Africa would be suitable for your home. With such a wide variety of African flowers, its a good idea to know a few relevent facts before you make your choice.
Facts about North African Flowers
Henbane, the famous witch's flower, grows along the Mediterranean, particularly in Morocco. Also known as the "Stinking nightshade," it is poisonous, but has become popular due to its known psychoactive components, which can cause sensations of flying.
The Iris is another flower that blooms along the Mediterranean; for example the Unguicularis tends to flower in late winter and early spring, sometimes flowering as late as April. It produces a range of flowers from purple to grey.
Geraniums grow wild in the islands of the Mediterranean, and also in Morocco and other places in the North of Africa. It is something of a weed in these countries, although the leaves are prized for their use as an insect repellent.
West Africa is home to the plant known as "Mother-in-law's tongue." It has large, leathery leaves shaped like swords, and the leaves are considered to be slightly toxic, causing the mouth and tongue to become swollen.
East Africa contains African flowers such as the Khat, a toxic plant that produces a stimulant somewhat like amphetamine. Khat is a controlled substance in many parts of the globe.
One of the sunflower family, Vernonia Galamensis, is grown in Ethiopia for its oil, which is used in the manufacture of plastics as venoili acid. This oil is an alternative to usual plasticizers, and has the potential to reduce smog and toxic pollution. Vernonia is often found growing as a weed.
East Africa is also the native soil of the African violet flower, which has its origins in Tanzania and Kenya, particularly around the Nguru mountains. These plants grow to be about 6 inches, and twice as wide. Growing wild, some varieties of these African flowers are threatened with extinction, but they can also be bought from garden centers across the world, usually in little glass bowls.
South Africa has a range of native African flowers and plants, such as the Aloe Vera, used in medicines and cosmetics. Aloe Vera is also used for scents, and in cleaning products.
Orchids grow in abundance in southern Africa, with Malawi out in front as the coutnry with the most orchids in the African continent.
The Gerbera, or Transvaal, Daisy is a native of South Africa, and blooms often in the growing season, making it an ideal flower for keen gardeners who wish to cut flowers on a regular basis.
Southern Africa is the home of a range of other flowers including the African Daisy, Cow parsley, and Birds of Paradise. The latter are tall plants with a rather spiky flower that is supposed to resemble the Bird of Paradise.