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African Flower Names

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Africa presents a wide variety of climates for flowers.

Africa is a continent containing grasslands, savannas, deserts, rainforests, river valleys and velds. Plant life in Africa is only limited by temperature, rainfall and soil conditions. Flowers growing in Africa must adapt to a wide range of growing conditions. Seasonal droughts, wet seasons, excess heat, freezing temperatures, volcanic soil and coastal conditions are all found in Africa. There are flowers found in every niche and climate of Africa.


The leaves of Impalalelie fall before the flowers appear.

Impalalelie (Adenium multiflorum) is known as the impala lily in English. This deciduous shrub-has poisonous sap. This succulent grows 1.5 to 9.5 feet tall. The leaves are shiny green on top and pale below. Impalalelie drops its leaves before the flowers bloom in May to September.

The trumpet-shaped blossoms have pointed white petals and crinkly red edges. Red stripes reach down the blossom throat. Impalalelie thrives in sandy and rocky soil. This flower is commonly found in dry woodlands and open grasslands. This lily is threatened by horticultural collecting, agriculture and browsing by wild animals. Baboons are known to dig up the entire flower in order to feed off of the bulb.


Geelbobbejaantjie (Babiana pygmaea) is part of the iris family. This flower produces a spike in the late winter which rapidly grows to 5 inches tall. The oblong-shaped, bright green leaves have obvious ribs covered with short hairs. The large cup-shaped flower appears in the early spring and lasts for two to three weeks. These unscented blossoms have pale to deep yellow petals with maroon purple centers. Geelbobbejaantjie thrives in moist, gravelly areas receiving full sun exposure.


Rankvygie (Cephalophyllum alstonii) is a perennial succulent flower with triangular leaves. The upright, smooth leaves form a creeping groundcover. Large blood-red flowers cluster together from June until September. Rankvygie does not tolerate heavy frosts; it thrives in arid regions. The leaves provide grazing for large animals and sheep.


Witbietou (Dimorphotheca cuneata) is called the rain flower in English. This winter perennial flower reaches 39 inches in height. The lance-like green leaves are fragrant when they are crushed. This bush-like flower blooms in September through October with daisy-like blossoms. Yellow centers are surrounded by white, orange and pink ray-like petals. Witbietou thrives in good-draining sandy soil in bright sunny sites. This flower does not grow well in heavy clay soil. Witbietou lives 20 years in its natural habitat. It is drought resistant.


About the Author


Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.