biodiversity, bitterbossie, Chirona, environment, Erica, floral, floral kingdoms, fynbos, fynbos biome, garden, Helichrysum, Metalasia, nature, organic, plants, protea, secret season, South African endemic plant, Table Mountain, vascular plant species, Western Cape, wild flowers, world heritage site
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.
Chirona baccifera or “Bitterbossie” (Afrikaans) full of medicinal berries.
Erica abietina starting to flower
Erica plukentii is a favourite with the Sunbirds
The Metalsia muricata full of honey smelling white flowers, making the mountain Silver in the late afternoon light.
The Tortoise Berry or Nylandtia Spinosa giving a beautiful purple guile to its thorns
The Black Bearded Sugar bush Protea (Protea lepiocarpodendron), so soft and velvety.
The oleander leaf protea (Protea neriifolia) often known as baardsuikerbos presumably because it looks as if it has a beard.