AFROTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

Kingdom Plantae

Flowering Plants

Order Magnoliales

Family Myristicaceae

(Viavia, Entebbe, Uganda)

Pycnanthus angolensis, 'African Nutmeg', 'Ilomba'. Cultivated for it's many medicinal properties, as well as burning oil and soap. Found in forests and swamps in tropical Africa.


Order Arecales

Family Arecaceae: Palms

Elaeis guineensis, 'African Oil Palm'. Taken from tropical African forests and swamps, and planted throughout tropics of the world for it's oil. 

Order Poales

Family Poaceae

The centre of bamboo diversity is found in Asia, but there are also many species on the Pacific islands, a small range in the Neotropics and in Africa. They are among the fastest growing plants in the world. In Africa, bamboo is recorded being eaten by Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Elephants. The hard round stem is light but stiff, and useful for humans in construction.

(Bwindi, Uganda)

Order Zingiberales

Family Musaceae: Bananas

(Ruboni Camp, Uganda)

Ensete ventricosum, 'False (African) Banana'.

Order Rosales

Family Urticaceae

(Viavia, Uganda)

Myrianthus arboreus, 'Giant Yellow Mulberry', 'Monkey Fruit'. Large leaves, large yellow compound looking fruit. Fruit edible. Young leaves popular in a soup so well regarded that there is a saying: "one will kill his child for the sake of ibishere soup". Leaves, bark and seeds used for medicine. Found in rainforest and on edge of forest, including villages, in central and eastern Africa.

Order Sapindales

Family Anacardiaceae

(Viavia, Entebbe, Uganda)

'Ochol',Pseudospondias microcarpa, Apparently cut twigs smell like mango. The fig looking fruit has been recorded to be eaten in small amounts (have not tried this, do not recommend). The Ghanian name means 'close your eyes' from reports of people falling asleep underneath it; narcotic or just nice shade? Found in forests, often in flooded areas, of tropical Africa.

Order Santales

Family Loranthaceae & Santalaceae (and Viscaceae)

(Rwenzori, Uganda)


Order Lamiales

Family Gesneriaceae

There are over 3,5000 species in this family. Most species tend to be small plants such as herbs or shrubs, often with colourful flowers. Many of these showy flowers are bird or insect pollinated. They are found mostly across the tropics, with some species extending into temperate areas.

Streptocarpus spp. 'African Violets', 'Cape Primroses'

(Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town)

A large genus of about 155 species. They are not related to either the true Violets or Primrose. The flowers are often colourful, and many have 'runway' patterns and colours on the petals to guide the pollinating animals. They mostly grow in moist and shaded cracks and crevices in mountain habitats in Africa and Madagascar, but have become better known as colourful garden flowers grown all around the world.

Family Bignoniaceae

(Rwenzori, Uganda)

Kigelia, 'Sausage Tree'.

Spathodea spp.

This genus contains only one species.

(Rwenzori, Uganda)

Spathodea campanulata, 'African Tulip Oak'. Neither an oak nor obviously a tulip. Large red flowers. Found in west, central and east Africa. This species had been introduced widely throughout the other tropics of the world, but is often considered a major weed. 


(Bigodi Swamp, Uganda)

Back to the page on African rainforest

Search this website and google: