oa Journal of East African Natural History - Periodic Flowering of Some ACANTHACEAE on Mt. Elgon

Volume 1965, Issue 111
  • ISSN : 0012-8317



Most species of flowering plants in East Africa flower in relation to the rains, either before, during, or after, but there are some which flower at very long intervals, and then en masse. This phenomenon has been noted before, and is well known in the bamboo (Arundinaria alpina K. Schum.), where the interval between flowerings has been estimated to be as much as 40 years (Wimbush 1945). Again, Fey (1964, p. 55) states ""This plant, known to the Kikuyu as Songoya (probably Mimulopsis solmsii Schweinf.) is of particular interest ... Its life span is nine to ten years during which it grows to a height of about twelve feet. It then produces a profusion of pale mauve flowers..."" Fey mentions that the plant last flowered in 1953 on the Western Aberdares.

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