ZimParks warns against national flower sales

HARARE - Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) has warned against the illegal sale of the flame lily, the country’s national flower.

The flame lily is a protected plant within the country and has been the national flower of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known before independence from Britain in 1980, and has retained that special status.

Queen Elizabeth II was presented with a flame lily diamond brooch as a gift from Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia as it was then, when she visited as crown princess in 1947.

“Members of the public should desist from illegally selling the plant,” ZimParks spokesperson  Caroline Washaya-Moyo warned yesterday.

Those found selling the national flower risked prosecution.

“The flame lily is a specially protected indigenous plant and anyone found and or seen with it without proper papers risks prosecution, this is according to Section 51 of the statutory instrument 362 of 1990,” she said.

It’s also protected under the Parks and Wildlife Act from illegal harvesting.  The laws apply to ordinary traders, commercial propagators, and most gardeners.

“The illegal sale of the flame lily is rife during the rainy season,” she said. The flame lily is adapted to high summer rainfall and a dormant dry season, and flowers between December and March every year in Zimbabwe.

It is facing possible extinction because of illegal harvesting and trade.

Traders sell the flower around $8 per bouquet on the country’s roadsides.

The plant’s scientific name is Gloriosa superba (Gloriosa meaning full of glory and superba meaning superb) but it’s more commonly known as the flame lily, glory lily, climbing lily or creeping lily.

It is a spectacular climber with striking distinctive flowers of subtle colour variations from a dark pink or red, red through to yellow and orange. All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous due to the presence of toxic alkaloids including colchicine and can be fatal if eaten.

Comments (1)

Members of this Govt and National parks staff should desist from illegally selling elephants, lions, hyeanas and other national animal assests to the Chinks. Those that are found to be doing this illegal sale should be prosecuted.

Homo Erectus - 2 January 2017

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