Enjoy a hike in the Fynbos Plant Kingdom
found on Table Mountain
When going for a walk on Table Mountain don’t forget to take the time to look at the flora around you. There are only 6 floral kingdoms in the world, and the fynbos plant kingdom which is found in the South Western corner of Africa is both the smallest and the most diverse. (ie. it has the most number of species per km sq) Even more amazing is that of the various plant life found here, roughly 70% are endemic. (ie. Not found anywhere else in the world)
It’s also important to know that unlike many areas, whatever the season there is always something wonderful to see in the area. You don’t have to come in the spring in order to see some wonderful and vibrant colours. Whatever time of year you come there will be a wonderful diplay of floral richness on Table Mountain and the surrounding area.
Although Fynbos consists of several different species, the main families are the Proteas, Ericas and Restios. There are also a huge number of the Asteraceae (daisy) family. The protea family are the largest, most striking and probably best known of the area. Our National flower, the King Protea can be found world wide, mainly as a dried flower and to see it flowering in nature is always a very special treat.
Other Protea that offer a wonderful display are the sugar bushes. Many of which flower throughout the winter months.
The Erica family is generally smaller, but just as impressive. You really could not walk in this area without seeing several types on Erica’s. An amazing fact about this genus is that whilst there are over 700 different species of Erica on Table Mountain and the surrounding area, there are less than 50 in the rest of the world.
Restios are members of the reed family which cover about 5% of the area. They vary in size from tiny to head high and have a beauty all of their own.
The Asteraceae are incredibly numerous with over 1000 species being found of which 600 are endemic.
The plants pictured above are a tiny example of what you can see on a walk of Table Mountain.