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Acanthaceae Butterflies

Acanthaceae are host plants to many butterfly caterpillars, and provide nectar flowers that attract many butterflies. Caterpillar foodplant to:

  • Hypolimnas misippus – Diadem
  • Salamis anacardii – Clouded Mother of Pearl
  • Junonia orithya – Eyed Pansy
  • Junonia hierta – Yellow Pansy
  • Junonia oenone – Blue Pansy
  • Junonia natalica – Natal Pansy
  • Catacroptera cloanthe – Pirate
  • Eretis umbra – Small Marbled Elf
  • Sarangesa phidyle – Small Elfin

(Note: some of these butterflies also feed on other families)

Annonaceae Butterflies

Annonacea Butterflies

Annonacea are butterfly foodplant to:

  • Graphium antheus – Large Striped Swordtail
  • Graphium policenes – Small Striped Swordtail
  • Graphium colonna – Black Swordtail
  • Graphium philonoe – Eastern White Lady
  • Abantis paradisea – Paradise Skipper

Poaceae Butterflies

Poaceae larval foodplant to:

  • Melanitis lede – Coomon Evening Brown
  • Bicyclus safitza – Common Bush Brown
  • Ypthima asterope – Common Three Ring
  • Astictopterus stellata – Spotted Sylph
  • Kedestes callicles – Pale Ranger
  • Borbo borbonica – Olive Haired Swift
  • Borbo fatuellus – Foolish Swift
  • Pelopidas thrax – White-banded Swift

Siphonochilus Kirkii


Family: Zingiberaceae

ENG: Wild Ginger

GIR: Mutunguu

Wild ginger is a forest floor plant with aromatic rhizomatous roots. The leaves are deciduous and sprout annually from the underground stem in spring, they may reach a height of up to 400mm. The leaves are light green, lance shaped and borne on the end of stem-like leaf bases.

The male and female organs are borne on separate plants, female plants tend to be smaller than male plants. The small berry-like fruits are produced at or near ground level after the flowers.

The roots are used for traditional medicine.

Propagation through splitting of rhizomes.

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Encephalartos Hildebrantii

(Mombasa Cycad)
Family: Zamiaceae
KWS: – Mkwanga, Msapo
GIR: – Kitsapu/Kirori

Monkeys, rodents and birds eat the seed. Evergreen cycad can grow to 6m tall. Grows in full sun or shade. Easily propogated from seed.

The stem is used medicinally.

Rated as Near Threatened (NT) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Available at nurseries.

Possibly host to Geometridae (Geometer) moths.


Cissius Quadrangularis

Family: Vitaceae
KSW: Mbugu-nyama
GIR: Mtsuma-pengo

Perennial deciduous trailing or climbing herb with tuberous rootstock; stems quadrangular, almost
winged, stout, succulent, glabrous. Racemes of small white, yellowish, or greenish flowers; globular
berries are red when ripe.

Medicinally, it is used in the treatment of asthma, hemorrhoids, wounds, broken bones, boils, burns,
rheumatic pains, and indigestion. The young stems are cooked. The leaves and young shoots are used in the preparation of curries and poppadoms. The fruits are eaten and the seeds are used for cooking oil. Ash of the plant is used as a substitute for baking powder.

Self seeded