Tuesday, July 17, 2007


(with correction re-edited March 30, 2009)

Aloe vera

Monday, July 16, 2007

overview of the Ethiopian Highlands

Sometimes I wish I were more organized -- ok, very often! As our guide rhymed off names of plants in the Simien Mountains, I was sure I'd remember what they were. So I concentrated on taking photos. Well, that doesn't work for being organized.

But things always work out because in doing research to find the names of the plants I had photographed, I learned so many interesting things about the ecology of the Ethiopian highlands.

Without getting into the minutiae of enthusiastic 'phytogeography', 'plant systemics', botany and biodiversity, here's an article about the Ethiopian Highlands that I found easy to read and informative. Another place that got me started was at the World Wild Life organization, this article on the Ethiopian montane moorlands.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ethiopian highlands - II

(edited July 17/07, and April, 2013.)

Aloe secundiflora
Rapanea simensis with Hypericum revolutum behind it

Jasminum grandiflorum, poet's jasmine

Rumex steudelii Hochst or ? Rumex abyssinica
? Festuca abyssinica with Erica arborea and the giant lobelia, Lobelia rhynchopetalum, in the background
Giant lobelia, L. rhynchopetalum
afroalpine grasslands with L. rhynchopetalum

afroalpine grasslands with ? sedge, Carex erythrorhiza, and L. rhynchopetalum

L. rhynchopetalum

L. rhynchopetalum

?? Erygeron
?? Echinops longisetus

??Echinops longisetus

???yucca with ?? Echinops spinosus behind it on the right

Echinops spinosus

Echinops spinosus

Echinops spinosus

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

flora of the Ethiopian highlands - I

(with editions/corrections added July 12, 2007)

olive tree, Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata. Here's some interesting information about forest ecology and management related to the wild African olive.

Olive tree, draped with a moss that the locals use to tell which direction the wind is blowing. The leaves of the olive are burned instead when the traditional incense for the coffee ceremony is too expensive.

? young tree heather, Erica arborea or ?? Erica trimera

Erica arborea, draped with moss

?? Myrica salicifolia
fluffy seedheads of clematis in the background

gorgeous grass, a ?festuca

Drimia simensis

Doesn't this look like it might be a rain lily, maybe Cooperiana pedunculata? Can anyone help?

Solanum incanum, which the locals use as a soap. It is also used alone or with other plants as a remedy for parasites in livestock.

? acacia

strawflower, Helichrysum meyeri johannis

Rosa abyssinica, the endemic Ethiopian rose, is a beautiful shrub that towers up to 2m high.

Hagenia abyssinica, a tree used in traditional medicine as a vermifuge, is known locally as the kosso tree.

Compounds around churches, where trees traditionally are not cut for fuel, are a repository of many beautiful and useful trees in Ethiopia, including the Hagenia abyssinica.