West and Equatorial Africa

 

Equatorial Africa is the western part of intertropical Africa located on both sides of the Equator, from Guinea to North Angola and along the Congo river. This area, almost entirely covered by tropical evergreen rain forest, shows no steep hills, its noticeable summits being mount Nimba (1850) in the west and the Adamaoua range (4000 m) in Cameroon. The climate is set by the trade wind, blowing from north-east above the equator and south-east below. By colliding into the oceanic trade wind, it gives birth to wet and cloudy conditions. The climatic features of this area are  :

Equatorial Africa

  • a constant heath around 25-30°C
  • fairly equal day and night length all year round
  • weak thermic amplitude over the year (about 5°C)
  • heavy rainfalls, over 1500 mm/year, especially in the montane areas where they can exceed 8000 mm. Rainfall is fairly constant all year round and the dry season is short
  • consequently, hygrometry is important, often exceeding 85%
  • The growing conditions of these plants must be kept in mind for successful culture, therefore, it is best to grow them in a terrarium. Many species ar of a delicate nature and difficult to keep in cultivation (more under the link : Begonia culture)

Tchimbélé dam lakeA begonias river to Gabon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will find below an overview of the begonias growing in that area, sorted by habit and sections (the underlined names are pictured in the photo gallery)Epiphytic or lithophytic species :

  • TETRAPHILA : B. subscutata, B. polygonoides, B. gabonensis, B. ebolowensis, B. karperi, B. loranthoides, B. elaeagnifolia, B. longipetiolata,  B. squamulosa, B. kisuluana, B. eminii, B. fusialata, B. komoensisB. capillipes, B. poculifera var. poculifera and B. mannii
  • SEXALARIA : B. annobonensis : coastal areas of Cameroon, Sao Tome islands, Principe, Annobon. Terrestrial or lithophytic.
  • MEZIEREA : B. oxyloba : throughout tropical Africa (with other species from Madagascar, Seychelles islands, Comoro and Mascareignes islands), terrestrial, rarely epiphytic or lithophytic.
  • FILICIBEGONIA : B. aspleniifolia, B. minutifolia, B. elatostemmoides, B. auriculataB. macrocarpa, B. sciaphila, B. sessilifolia and B. gossweileri : from Guinea to east Congo an south towards Angola, terrestrial plants
  • CRISTASEMEN : B. thomeana, Sao Tome and Gabon; scandent
  • BACCABEGONIA : B. baccata : endemic to Sao Tome, terrestrial or lithophytic,

The cliff

Terrestrial plants, growing on the litter or lithophytic, sometimes scandent :

  • SQUAMIBEGONIA : B. ampla, B. bonus-henricus et B. poculifera var. teusziana : East of Dahomey-gap, from Nigeria throughout central Africa, Ouganda, Rwanda, Burundi and islands of the guinea gulf (see also Eastern and south Africa), epiphytic or litophytic plants ; from Guinea to Sierra Leone, througout the area (see also eastern and south Africa), epiphytic plants.

Both following sections are distinguished by their yellow flowers small rhizomatous habit. They are growing terrestrial or sometimes epiphytic. (please note that some species have white or pink flowers)

 

The rain forest to Gabon

 

  • SCUTOBEGONIA : B. aggeloptera, B. anisosepala, B. ciliobracteata, B. clypeifolia, B. dewildei, B. erectocaulis, B. erectotricha, B. ferramica, B. hirsutula, B. lacunosa, B. laporteifolia, B. mbangaensis, B. mildbraedii, B. peperomioides, B. scutulum, B. susaniae, B. vankerchklovenii, B. vittariifolia, B. wilksii, B. zairensis and B. zenkeriana : from Ivory coast to eastern Zaire and to the congolese/angolan border.

To discover the upper mentioned species, browse the photo gallery by clicking here.

 

 

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