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After the good rains we have had this past week, the Table mountain has started to come alive. This time of the year is always known as “The Secret Season” here in the Western Cape floral kingdom.

The Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and is home to more than 9 000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic. Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland. The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g.wildflowers) and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year. Thus, it is clear that the Cape Floristic Region has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot.

Table Mountain National Park is a World Heritage site since 2004.

A short stroll up the mountain confirmed that the “Secret Season” has begun.

chironia baccifera

Chirona baccifera or “Bitterbossie” (Afrikaans) full of medicinal berries.

Erica abietina starting to flower

erica

 

Erica plukentii is a favourite with the Sunbirdserica 2

 

helichrysum metalasia

The Metalsia muricata full of  honey smelling white flowers, making the mountain Silver in the late afternoon light.

nylandia spinosa

The Tortoise Berry or Nylandtia Spinosa  giving a beautiful purple guile to its thorns

protea black2

The Black Bearded Sugar bush Protea (Protea lepiocarpodendron), so soft and velvety.

protea pink

The oleander leaf protea (Protea neriifolia) often known as  baardsuikerbos presumably because it looks as if it has a beard.

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