Rain Forest Flora of Victoria Falls

The colourful rain forest floor. Blood-lilies on the rain forest floor mark the start of the rainy season. Photo: Brett Hilton-Barber

The fragile, yet resilient ecosystem of the Victoria Falls rain forest has a profusion of colourful shrubs and other flowering plants. Some 70 shrub species and 170 floral species have been recorded. Among these are:

Forest-Dwelling Orchid (Calanthe sylvatica)Forest floor plant with broad leaves and large white flowers which are visible in December.

Feretia / Red-Leaved Medlar (Feretia aeruginescens)Scraggly shrub with delicate pink flowers that bloom in October/November before giving way to red, fleshy fruit.

Sun Hibiscus (Hibiscus calyphyllus)Large yellow flower that opens from mid- to- late summer to reveal a chocolate-coloured centre.

Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)

The Flame Lily has bold red and yellow flowers that appear in late summer

This information is based on research by DB Fanshawe of the Zambian Forest Research Division.

Illustrations by Chip Snaddon

Brett Hilton-Barber and Lee R. Berger. Copyright © 2010 Prime Origins.

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