Plants to look out for on your

Table Mountain walk.

 With over 2000 different plant species packed into the Cape Peninsula, (which is more species than are found in the whole of the British isles) the area is a choice destination for plant lovers from all over the world. The peninsula is part of the smallest plant kingdom in the world. The Fynbos plant kingdom.

The Ericas are the largest genus in this kingdom with over 600 different species being found in the area. They have distinct needle like leaves which are found in whorls around the stem usually in threes or fours. The petals are joined together to form a corolla tube which may be long and narrow or open and cup shaped.

Erica Versicolor. The long corolla is typical of the Erica genus

Ericas are perrrenial shrubs with the size of the flower varying from very long tubular flowers of up to 45mm long down to minute flowers with flowers less than 0.7mm long. Much of the size, shape and colour of the flower is linked to pollination. Long tubed species often being pollinated by sunbirds whilst smaller cup shaped species are pollinated by a variety of insects.

When next walking on Table Mountain take the time to look at the variety of plants on either side of the path. In a tiny area you will find an amazing variety of plants including in most places several different Ericas.

Erica baccans

Table Mountain hairy heath.