Ethiopia has a very rich flora. There are already over 4000 known species of flowering plants and still more to be described. This issue which is the fourth on the subject introduces four of the more obvious flowering plants found around Addis Ababa and on the plateau. These are Cissus quadrangul aris, Delphinium dasycaulon. Epilobium hirsutun and kniphofia foliosa.
Cissus quadrangularis :- The devil’s mortar (female) – A scrambling vine with tendrils and four-angled, succulent stems found in dry shrubby areas from sea level to 1800m., flowers usually greenish-yellow. some times white at any time of year, particularly after rain: berries red when ripe.
Delphinium dasycaulon :- “Keep the clif warm”. A slender herb up to 40 cm. tall. found from 1400m. on rocky slopes at the base of the plateau to 3400m. in grassy meadows in the subafroalpine region. The flowers vary from white, pale mauve and pink to dark blue, and flowers from September-November.
Epilbium hirsutum :- “Cow’s Salt”:- A herb up to 1.5m. tall, found in swamps, streams and on stream banks throughout the country between1200 and 3200m.
Kniphofia foliosa :- “Red-hot poker”. Growing from a thick underground stem, this is the largest Ethiopian kniphofia, with leaves up to 60cm. long and flowering stalks up to 1.75. m. often found in masses on hillsides and meadows above 2700m. in the subafroalpine region, but individual plants can grow as low as 2200m. Flowers May-August, sometimes later.