The Fynbos of the Garden Route
Guest Blog by Janet Middleton
A narrow coastal greenbelt along the South Western Cape of
Africa is home to the smallest and most diverse of all
the World’s Floral Kingdoms, the .
Locally known as fynbos or, roughly translated from Afrikaans, “fine bush”. Cape
This stretch of rich vegetation incorporates
Cape Town, the Garden Route and and offers
tourists and locals the opportunity to view over 8000 species, 5000 of which
are endemic to this region - not to be found anywhere else on earth. That is
more species than can be found in the entire Port Elizabeth . United Kingdom
The fynbos varies from location to location and is special not only for its diversity but also its floral exports and uses. Popular floral species include the iconic Protea and delicate Erica species which are highly prized and grown for export. The healthy, aromatic teas made from the Rooibos and Honeybush plants are in demand both locally and internationally.
Fire is an integral part of the life cycle of many fynbos plants, as seeds will only germinate in the heat of the fire. The
is a winter rainfall region and
the summer months are generally dry with the possibility of natural fires
occurring and renewing the fynbos region. Western Cape
|Cape Sugarbird on Yellow Pincushion at Fynbos Ridge|
Photo: Amy Phillips
Fynbos Ridge lies perched amidst the fragrant fynbos of the
Garden Route, just
outside the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay. As their name
suggests, they have made a dedicated effort to return the fynbos to its natural
state with the essential removal of alien species, and rehabilitation of the indigenous vegetation. While
the natural vegetation thrives, local birds, butterflies and small mammals once
again make their home amongst the fynbos.
|One of our favourites The Red Pincushion - Leucospermum cordifolium|
In bloom from late Spring, and a great cut flower
Currently, at Fynbos Ridge, the vibrant Pincushion Protea is in flower, this exotic flower is commonly orange or reddish-orange with a distinctive flower head looking like a pincushion filled with pins. So lovely!