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THE ORIGIN OF GARDEN PLANTS AND THE FSU CONTRIBUTION

The Tropical African Center


The Tropical African Center of ornamental plants fully encompasses Vavilov's Abyssinian region and partially includes the Sudan-Zambezian and the Guinea-Congo Floristic Regions. There are 160 species (more than 3%) of hothouse and indoor plants which are indigenous to this range. Among them, Phoenix reclinata, the coffee tree (Coffea arabica) and the glory tree (Clerodendron thomsoniae) are the most popular. Snake plant or mother-in-law's-tongue (Sanseviera trifasciata, now in Dracena) and African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha), now rare in the wild crystaline mountains of Tanzania, yet is well known indoor plants. At the turn of the 19th century, plant-hunting expeditions were made to Africa. Orchids were especially popular and were a subject of fierce competition. Only a few perennial species, e.g. the Castor-Oil Plant (Ricinus communis), brought from Tropical Africa, are raised in the open in the temperate zone.

THE ORIGIN OF GARDEN PLANTS
 
 
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