Fynbos (pronounced feɪnbɒs) is a small belt of vegetation in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, and is known as one of the most diverse and rich floras worldwide.
Over 7000 plant species occur in the fynbos region, with between 70% and 80% of plant species found only in this area. Fire is crucial to Fynbos, which must burn in order to sustain itself. Many species store their fruit in fire-safe cones for release after a fire; without fire, other plant types start to invade.
Some of the largest and most well-known plants that occur in this area include the Protea, Iris, Orchid, Heath, Reed, Vygie and Daisy families.
Last week I went for a walk with a botany group in the hills above Kleinmond close to Hermanus. I, of course, got left behind a lot because I kept stopping to take photos – including of burnt Protea plants.
I have no idea what most of these flowers are, but they did blow my mind – from the tiniest one that I almost didn’t see, to the majestic proteas.