Types of African Flowers

Africa is a very large continent that is home to a wide range of unique flowers. Many of these flowers have evolved unique features because of their genetic isolation from other areas. Many African flowers will grow in warmer parts of the United States. However, some may also grow well as potted plants for indoor cultivation in more temperate areas.

African Bush Daisies

The African bush daisy is recommended for United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) Hardiness Zones 8b through 11. It can be planted year around in all of its recommended growing zones. The bush daisy produces large numbers of yellow flowers throughout the year. The bush is well rounded and grows to between 2 and 3 feet high with a spread of between 3 and 4 feet. The African bush daisy grows best in full sun. It is very tolerant of most soil types but does not do well with salty soils.

Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise is a flower that originated in Africa. Suitable for cultivation in U.S.D.A. Hardiness Zones 10 and 11, this plant does best in partial sun or shade. The flowers on the bird of paradise look very much like the head of a colorful tropical bird. They grow to between 3 and 5 feet tall and between 2 and 4 feet wide. Birds of paradise are drought tolerant and grow in most types of soil. They are tolerant of standing water for brief periods but do not do well in salty soils. Bird of paradise grows well both in the ground and in pots. As a potted plant, it can survive cold winters as an indoor ornamental plant.

Carrion Flowers

Carrion flowers get their name from their fragrance. They smell like rotting meat. An African native, these flowers evolved with this unique mechanism to attract flies. The flies pollinate the flowers, rather than bees or other insects. Although usually only grown as a novelty, their flowers can reach 12 inches in diameter, the carrion flower is cold hardy in U.S.D.A. Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. These plants grow best in shade, partial shade or partial sun. They do best in either acidic or alkaline soil that is either sandy or a good loam. Carrion flowers can grow both in pots and in the ground.

Keywords: African flowers, tropical flowers, flowers of Africa

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.