We’re blessed here on the Cape Peninsula to live in what could be termed the world’s richest natural garden: this tiny patch of land, only some 470 sq km has in excess of 2285 flowering plant species. As we move through the seasons, the landscape changes. Spring arrives in dynamic form after the winter rains in a mass of show-stopping colour as the Asteraceae or daisy family, with the geophytes and pelargoniums not far behind. When the Cape Snow arrives, we know that summer is on it’s way. Now the restios (reeds) cast a coppery sheen over the plains, and here and there a delicate pink merges as the erica meadows appear.
For those interested the Fynbos species forms part of the Cape Floristic Region, one of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms. Although the smallest in area, it is the richest in overall diversity with an astonishing 8 578 plant species. Sadly though the region is described as ‘among the very hottest of the world’s biodiversity hotspots’ : while it may be the among the world’s richest depositories of life forms, it is also among the most threatened. More than 1 400 fynbos plants are featured in the Red Data Book as being critically rare, endangered, threatened or vulnerable with at least 29 species already extinct.