Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The exotic flowers of Mt. Kilimanjaro: Protea kilimanjaro

The Protea kilimanjaro is one of many variations, said to be close to 1600 species, of the plant family Proteaceae.

It looks like a unitary flower but is actually a collection of flowers that are densely packed into a bulb that opens up at a certain stage of its maturity.

An 'open' Protea kilimanjaro plant on the Lemosho route of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
While on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro's Marangu route the hiker can view this unique plant.

At maturity the flowers dry up and the lifeless form appears to have been burnt by a bush fire.

I am tired of hearing stories of Tanzanians whining about Kenyan tour operators luring tourists to Kenya while claiming that Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Kenya. I believe Tanzanian tour operators ought to counter these Kenyan operators by their own aggressive marketing campaigns.

I was surprised nevertheless while seeking information on the Protea kilimanjaro that the little information available includes an entry in the Wikipedia which describes the Protea kilimanjaro as found " the chaparral zone of Mt. Kenya National Park." Without any mention of Mt. Kilimanjaro? Makes you go: "mmmhhhh."

Just in case it is still not clear: Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania.

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