Our picture of the vast African wilderness does not generally include delicate colorful flowers. Yet, away from the arid lowlands the countryside abounds with color. Many of the garden or household flowers with which we are familiar originate from cool moist highlands. Orchids and lilies, violets and delphiniums all grow wild alongside even more exotic species such as kniphofia and protea. We admire these plants for their beauty, but there true importance remains largely hidden, since their role in the grassland and forest ecosystems is virtually unknown. For now, we can look on and admire their fragile beauty.