An amazing begonia
Sometimes our tropical trips bring us into contact with some really rare plants and Begonia pulcherrima is one of those. Like Impatiens nyungwensis (see July 19th) this begonia is endemic to Nyungwe forest. It is only found in restricted areas in the west of the reserve including the swamp forest around Kamiranzovu where we found it flowering for the first time today.
Well done for finding such a beautiful rare plant.
And love the group photos.
Good find. Is it restricted due to its specific needs or loss of habitat ?
Good question Matt. I think it is that it has evolved here for a specific habitat that the ancient forests of Nungwe provide and has never spread further. About 25% of Rwanda’s orchids are endemic indicating that they too have evolved here in the mountains of the Albertine rift which are like cool islands surrounded by a sea of unsuitable lowland habitats.
It is beautiful, much nicer than the ‘bedding’ varieties we grow here.
Thanks Simon. It sounds like an inland Galapagos, and an exciting place to explore. Hope Jake is not squashing to much under his feet !
Thrilled to follow your diary. Re Begonia- we used to see pale pink begonias, faintly scented like dog roses. The plants scrambled high over the trees bordering the main Road. Hope you see some Turacos, Colobus monkeys and golden mountain monkeys. Still remember your lecture in Cheltenham 2013. Best wishes for all your team and inspiration to Rwandan students. Jean