Zambia: Pyjama Lillies

You’ve probably seen these lilies sold in western flower shops, but turns out Pyjama Lily or Crinum macowanii is originally from Africa and is quite common here in southern and central parts of the continent. Just driving across Western Zambia, we stumbled on a massive swampy meadow all covered in blooming lilies. The flowers are massive and heavy and appear almost artificial and plastic. The plant is considered to be one of the top traditional medicine staples in Africa, used for a lot of ailments, from back pain, to rashes, to inflammation, to diarrhea, to fever, to tuberculosis, to STDs. Interestingly, laboratory testing has shown that the extract from the bulbs is a very strong antiviral and has been proven nearly 100% effective against yellow fever virus and 75% effective against Japanese encephalitis.