A history of succulent exploration in East and North-East Africa

Walker, Colin (2004). A history of succulent exploration in East and North-East Africa. In: The Succulent Plan Easte.


Tropical East and North-east Africa includes the countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Uganda. Here the emphasis is on the exploration and discovery of novel succulent plants, especially those which made their first appearance in the literature on our area that was illustrated. Often many published works, although of great botanical interest and significance, were unillustrated. Many plant families contain succulents of interest, but the main families that are most diverse in this region are the Aloaceae, Apocynaceae s.l., Crassulaceae and Euphorbiaceae. Much early botanical exploration in this region was often hazardous and several of the European explorers whose work is reviewed here never returned home, but died during their expeditions in Africa. Unlike South Africa, where botanical exploration began many hundreds of years ago, most expeditions to East Africa and the majority of succulent discoveries only took place during the last hundred years or so. Our story, though, starts in 1768 and runs for around 230 years to the present day.

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