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Tag: Commonly Cultivated

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.


Rhodopentas Bussei K. Krause

(Previously Pentas Bussei)
Family: Rubiaceae
GIR: Mangi

Multi-branched shrub 0.6–2.5 m. tall. Sometimes scrambles/ supports itself on other plants Grow on the cliff face and self seeded. Also grow from cuttings.

Red /orange flowers throughout the year. A popular nectar food plant for butterflies.

Rhodopentas parvifolia (Hiern) is also recorded at the coast

Hibiscus Schizopetalus

Family: Malvaceae

Commonly cultivated shrub up to 3M tall. Easily grown from cuttings. Full sun, partial shade. Orange ‘frilly’ flowers. Flowers throughout the year.
Popular with sunbirds.

Available at coastal nurseries

Larval host plant to:

  • Spialia diomus – Grizzled Skipper

Millettia Usaramensis

Family: Fabaceae -Leguminosae sub family Papilionaceae
GIR: Mhamna

Bushy tree 7m-10 m. Flowers in lovely large lavender sprays before rains. Very hard timber.

Host to Plecoptera hypoxantha.

Available from Kivukoni Indigenous Tree Nursery.