Red blush of winter
QHORST PRITZEN from Windhoek writes: I grew up in Namibia and I travel often, which is why I did a double take when I saw these flowers in the Khaudum area. I’ve never seen them before. Can you help me identify the species?
APlant expert SILKE RÜGHEIMER says: This is Combretum platypetalum, also known as red-wing or scarlet combretum. It flowers in winter when most other plants are dormant, which is what makes it so striking. In Namibia, its range is confined to the Kavango and Caprivi (now Zambezi) regions. It also occurs in other countries further north like Zimbabwe.