Fynbos in the Western Cape
The Cape floristic region is a floristic region located in South Africa. It is the only floristic region of the Cape (South African) Floristic Kingdom, and includes only one floristic province, known as the Cape floristic province.
The Cape floristic region covers the Mediterranean climate region of South Africa Western Cape Province in the southwestern corner of the country, and extends eastward into the Eastern Cape Province, a transitional zone between the winter-rainfall region to the west and the summer-rainfall region to the east in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Most of the region is covered with fynbos, a sclerophyllous shrubland occurring on acid sands or nutrient poor soils derived from Table Mountain Sandstones (Cape Supergroup). Fynbos is home to an amazing diversity of plant species including many members of the Protea family (Proteaceae), Heath family (Ericaceae), and Reed family of restios (Restionaceae). Other vegetation types are strandveld, a soft coastal scrubland found mostly on the west-facing coast of the Western Cape Province, on tertiary sands. Renosterveld is a grassy shrubland dominated by members of the Daisy family (Asteraceae - particularly renosterbos (Elytropappus rhinocerotis)), graminoids and geophytes, occurring on the base-rich shaley soils of the coastal forelands. Small pockets of Afromontane forest (= Southern Afrotemperate Forest) can be found in humid and sheltered areas.
The World Wildlife Fund
divides the cape floristic region into three ecoregions
: the Lowland fynbos and renosterveld, Montane fynbos and renosterveld, and Albany thickets. The fynbos ecoregions are designated one of the Global 200
priority ecoregions for conservation. Conservation International
declared the Cape floristic region to be a biodiversity hotspot