CREATE YOUR OWN LIFE GARDEN

First steps to gardening by veld type

Click a pin on the map to view information. Find the location of your garden on the City of Cape Town’s vegetation map below. By clicking on your location you will find out more about the original veld type of your area. This will give you an indication of the soil type, climate, historical plant community and conservation status of your veld type. Test soil pH and note topsoil consistency/texture (sand/clay/loam) as these are likely to have been altered by human intervention. Local, wild plants are grown wholesale by FynbosLIFE’s Cape Flats Fynbos Nursery. Contact info@fynboslife.com or follow our news for updates on Cape Town lowland fynbos plants and sales to the public.
 
Cape Town Vegetation Map
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Lourensford Alluvium Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Endemic to the City of Cape Town: Low-lying areas between Firgrove and Gordon’s Bay, including much of the Strand and Somerset West, extending up the Lourens River Valley to the Sawmill above Lourensford Estate. Altitude 20–150 m. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and transformation level is high at 93%.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Low-lying plains supporting low, medium dense shrubland with short graminoid understorey. Restioid and asteraceous fynbos are dominant, although there is some evidence that proteoid fynbos might once have been dominant. Some remnants are exceptionally rich in geophytes.
    Geology & Soils: Plinthic, duplex, silty soils often with small cobbles and pebbles embedded. Found over Cape Suite granite and metasediments of the Tygerberg Formation (Malmesbury Group).
    Climate: Winter-rainfall climate peaking from May to August. MAP 470–980 mm (mean: 640 mm). Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.0°C and 7.4°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence infrequent. This is the only alluvium fynbos under strong maritime influence.
    Endemic Taxa: None
    Conservation: Critically Endangered. Less than 1% conserved in the Helderberg and Harmony Flats Nature Reserves. The conservation target of 30% is unattainable since more than 90% of the area has been transformed for urban development (Helderberg Municipality), cultivation, pine plantations and roads.
    Remarks: This unit falls within areas farmed since earliest colonial times (Farm Vergelegen of W.A. van der Stel since 1700). Most of the remnants are transformed by grazing, mowing and changes in fire regime, and it is uncertain what has been lost and whether the remaining patches are representative of the original vegetation type.

  • Status

    Historical cover 48 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 3.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 2 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Peninsula Granite Fynbos (North Peninsula)

  • Description (north and south peninsula subtypes combined)

    Distribution: Endemic to the City of Cape Town: Lower slopes on the Cape Peninsula from Lion’s Head to Smitswinkel Bay almost completely surrounding Table Mountain, Karbonkelberg and Constantiaberg through to the Kalk Bay Mountains. South of the Fish Hoek gap, it is limited to the eastern (False Bay) side of the Peninsula from Simon’s Bay to Smitswinkel Bay, with a few small patches between Fish Hoek and Ocean View. Altitude 0–450 m. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 65% is transformed.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Steep to gentle slopes below the sandstone mountain slopes, and undulating hills on the western edge of the Cape Flats. Medium dense to open trees in tall, dense proteoid shrubland. A diverse type, dominated by asteraceous and proteoid fynbos, but with patches of restioid and ericaceous fynbos in wetter areas. Waboomveld is extensive in the north and heavily encroached by afrotemperate forest in places. South of Hout Bay, the dwarf form of Protea nitida is dominant, so that there are no emergent proteoids. Groves of silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum) occur on the wetter slopes.
    Geology & Soils: Deep loamy, sandy soils, red-yellow apedal or Glenrosa and Mispah forms, derived from Cape Peninsula Pluton of the Cape Granite Suite
    Climate: Typical winter-rainfall climate peaking from May to August. MAP 590–1 320 mm (mean: 960 mm). Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.0°C and 7.2°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year. The climate of this unit is almost identical to that of Boland Granite Fynbos, but shows a far stronger maritime influence.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Cliffortia carinata, Gnidia parvula, Hermannia micrantha, Leucadendron grandiflorum. Succulent Shrubs: Erepsia patula, Lampranthus curvifolius. Herb: Polycarena silenoides. Geophytic Herb: Aristea pauciflora. Graminoid: Willdenowia affinis.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered. Target 30%. Conserved in the Table Mountain National Park as well as on the premises of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. However, much of the conserved fynbos has been transformed into afrotemperate forest due to fire protection policies at Orangekloof and Kirstenbosch and a reluctance to use fire in green belts and on the urban fringe. The effective fynbos area conserved is thus much lower. A total of 56% transformed, mostly Cape Town urban areas (40%) on low-lying flat areas, including vineyards and pine plantations (13%). The most common alien woody species include Acacia melanoxylon, Pinus pinaster and numerous other more localised invasive alien species, reflecting the long history of colonisation and the relatively fertile soils.

  • Status

    Historical cover 92 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 39.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 33 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Cape Flats Dune Strandveld (West Coast)

  • Description (West Coast and False Bay subtypes combined)

    Distribution: Endemic to Cape Town; mainly coastal, altitude 0-80m, but reaching 200m in places
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Flat to slightly undulating dune field landscape. Structurally, strandveld is a tall, evergreen, hard-leaved shrubland with abundant grasses, annual herbs and succulents in the gaps. Examples of prominent shrub species include Euclea racemosa, Metalasia muricata, Olea exasperata, Chrysanthemoides monilifera and Roepera flexuosum. Strandveld has few endemic species compared to fynbos. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 56% is transformed.
    Geology & Soils: Tertiary to recent calcareous sand of marine origin. Outcrops of limestone found on the False Bay coast.
    Climate: Mean Annual Rainfall 350mm in N to 560mm in S
    Endemic Taxon: Lampranthus tenuifolius
    Conservation: Endangered: target 24%; 6% conserved

  • Status

    Historical cover 401 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 180.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 64 km2
    National Ecosystem Status EN: Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Atlantis Sand Fynbos

  • Description

    (Previously described as Sand Plain Fynbos)
    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Rondeberg to Blouberg on the West Coast coastal flats; along the Groen River on the eastern side of the Dassenberg-Darling Hills through Riverlands to the area between Atlantis and Kalbaskraal, also between Klipheuwel and the Paardeberg with outliers west of the Berg River east and north of Riebeek-Kasteel betweeen Hermon and Heuningberg. Altitude 40–250 m. 37.5% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 62.5% outside the City. However, transformation rates are higher nationally (49%) than inside City borders (43%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating to flat sand plains with a dense, moderately tall, ericoid shrubland dotted with emergent, tall sclerophyllous shrubs and an open, short restioid stratum. Restioid and proteoid fynbos are dominant, with asteraceous fynbos and patches of ericaceous fynbos in seepages.
    Geology & Soils: Acidic tertiary, grey regic sands, usually white or yellow
    Climate: Winter-rainfall regime with precipitation peaking from May to August. MAP 290–660 mm (mean: 440 mm). Mists (fogs) common in winter and supplying additional precipitation. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 27.9°C and 7.0°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence about 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Leucospermum parile, Erica malmesburiensis, Serruria linearis, S. roxburghii, S. scoparia. Herb: Steirodiscus speciosus.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered as it contains 100 Red Data species. Target 30%. About 6% conserved in Riverlands, Paardenberg and at Pella Research Site. Some 47% has been transformed, mainly for cultivation (agricultural smallholdings and pastures), by urban sprawl of Atlantis and for setting up pine and gum plantations. Woody aliens include Acacia saligna, A. cyclops and various species of Eucalyptus and Pinus.

  • Status

    Historical cover 278 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 39.8%
    Current area in Cape Town 166.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 4 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Boland Granite Fynbos

  • Description

    (Previously described as Mesic Mountain Fynbos)
    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Upper slopes and summits of Paardeberg and Paarl Mountain as well as the lower slopes of mountains spanning the Groenberg and Hawequasberge (western foothills near Wellington), Pniel (Simonsberg and Groot Drakenstein Mountains and Klapmutskop), Franschhoek (Middelberg, Dassenberg, Skerpheuwel, Middagkransberg), Stellenbosch (Jonkershoek Valley and northern side of the Helderberg) and Helderberg Municipality (including lower south- and west-facing slopes of Haelkop and the Hottentots Holland Mountains and also the free-standing Skapenberg). It also occurs in the Du Toitskloof and Wemmershoek Valleys, Kaaimansgat and lower Stettynskloof, with outcrops on the Bottelary Hills and Kanonkop (near Pella). Altitude 150–650 m, reaching 850 m in places. 14.3% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 85.7% outside the City, with similar transformation rates inside and outside the City.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating plains and hills, varying from extensive deep soils, to localised deep soils between large granite domes and sheets. A fairly dense, 1–2 m tall closed shrubland with occasional low, gnarled trees dotted through the landscape. A diverse type, dominated by scrub, asteraceous and proteoid fynbos (with Protea repens, P. burchelli, P. laurifolia with Leucadendron rubrum and L. daphnoides as dominants on drier slopes, Leucospermum grandiflorum or L. guenzii dominant in seepage areas, and P. neriifolia and Leucadendron sessile on moist slopes), but with patches of restioid and ericaceous fynbos in wetter areas. Waboomveld is very typical and very extensive within this unit.
    Geology & Soils: Cape Granite Suite rocks (Paardeberg, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Wellington Plutons). Soils usually of Glenrosa, Mispah forms, or red-yellow apedal. Freely draining soils are dominant, with exposed dome rock and large boulders.
    Climate: MAP 610–2 220 mm (mean: 985 mm), peaking from May to August. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.6°C and 5.9°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year. The mean rainfall for this type is well below the 1 400 mm limit suggested by Campbell (1985) for fynbos on granite. Mists are common in winter.
    Endemic Taxa: Tall Shrub: Leucospermum grandiflorum. Low Shrubs: Aspalathus cephalotes subsp. cephalotes, A. stricticlada, Erica fausta, E. hippurus, E. lerouxiae, E. setosa, Leucospermum lineare, Lobostemon hottentoticus, Psoralea gueinzii, Pteronia centauroides, Serruria gracilis, Xiphotheca elliptica. Succulent Shrubs: Erepsia lacera, Lampranthus leptaleon, L. rupestris, Oscularia paardebergensis. Herb: Argyrolobium angustissimum. Geophytic Herbs: Babiana noctiflora, Ixia cochlearis, Lapeirousia azurea, Watsonia amabilis. Succulent Herb: Conophytum turrigerum.
    Conservation: Vulnerable. Target 30%. Some 14% statutorily conserved in the Hawequas, Hottentots Holland and Paarl Mountain Nature Reserves, with a further 34% found in Hawequas, Hottentots Holland mountain catchment areas and Helderberg and Paardenberg Nature Reserves. More than a half of the area has been transformed for vineyards, olive groves and pine plantations. Most common woody aliens include Pinus pinaster, Hakea sericea and Acacia saligna.

  • Status

    Historical cover 95 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 19.2%
    Current area in Cape Town 61.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 3 km2
    National Ecosystem Status VU: Vulnerable


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Cape Flats Sand Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Largely endemic to the City of Cape Town: Cape Flats from Blouberg and Koeberg Hills west of the Tygerberg Hills to Lakeside and Pelican Park in the south near False Bay, from Bellville and Durbanville to Klapmuts and Joostenberg Hill in the east, and to the southwest of the Bottelary Hills to Macassar and Firgrove in the south. Altitude 20–200 m. Nearly 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 85% is transformed.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating and flat plains, with dense, moderately tall, ericoid shrubland containing scattered emergent tall shrubs. Proteoid and restioid fynbos are dominant, with asteraceous and ericaceous fynbos occurring in drier and wetter areas, respectively.
    Geology & Soils: Acid, tertiary, deep, grey regic sands, usually white, often Lamotte form
    Climate: Winter-rainfall regime with precipitation peaking from May to August. MAP 580–980 mm (mean: 575 mm). Mists occur frequently in winter. Mean daily maximum and minimum monthly temperatures 27.1°C and 7.3°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence about 3 days per year. This is the wettest and the coolest of the West Coast sand fynbos types.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Erica margaritacea, Aspalathus variegata (probably extinct), Athanasia capitata, Cliffortia ericifolia, Erica pyramidalis, E. turgida, E. verticillata, Leucadendron levisanus, Liparia graminifolia, Serruria aemula, S. foeniculacea, S. furcellata. Succulent Shrub: Lampranthus stenus. Geophytic Herb: Ixia versicolor. Graminoids: Tetraria variabilis, Trianoptiles solitaria.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered. Target 30%. Less than 1% statutorily conserved as small patches in the Table Mountain National Park as well as some private conservation areas such as Plattekloof 430 and Blaauwberg Hill. This is the most transformed of the sand fynbos types—more than 85% of the area has already been transformed (hence the conservation target remains unattainable) by urban sprawl (Cape Town metropolitan area) and for cultivation. Most remaining patches are small pockets surrounded by urban areas, for example Rondevlei, Kenilworth, Milnerton, 6BOD, Plattekloof, and Rondebosch Common. Most of these patches have been identified as ‘Core Conservation Sites’. They are mismanaged by mowing, fire protection and by alien plant invasion. Mowing eliminates serotinous and taller species, while fire protection results in a few common thicket species (e.g. Carpobrotus edulis, Chrysanthemoides monilifera), replacing the rich fynbos species. Alien woody species include Acacia saligna, A. cyclops and species of Pinus and Eucalyptus. Dumping and spread of alien grasses (both annual and Kikuyu Pennisetum clandestinum) are also a major problem. Alien acacias result in elevated nutrient levels and a conversion to Eragrostis curvula grassland and near-annual fires. Some 94 Red Data sand fynbos plant species occur on the remnants within Cape Town. The endemics include six species listed as Extinct in the Wild, some of which are being reintroduced from botanical gardens.

  • Status

    Historical cover 547 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 77.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 5 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Cape Inland Saltpans

  • Description

    Excerpts from the “Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland” (Strelitzia 19, pages 649-650, 2006). Small depressions dominated by low succulent scrub composed of creeping chenopods and salt-tolerant herbs & grasses. Originally, most of the saline pans were coastal lagoons but they became dry after having been cut off from the sea – they may become temporarily flooded by winter rains and remain mostly dry in summer.
    Important Taxa: Morella cordifolia, Orphium frutescens, Senecio halimifolius, Sarcocornia capensis, S. mossiana complex, Atriplex cinerea subsp. bolusii, Lycium cinereum, Sarcocornia pillansia, Frankenia repens, Limonium equisetinum, L. kraussianum, Chironia baccifera, C. decumbens, C. tetragona, Malephra luteola, Plantago crassifolia complex, Sarcocornia natalensis, Halopeplis amplexicaulis, Elegia microcarpum, E. nuda, Sporobolus virginicus, Elegia verreauxii, Ficinia lateralis, F. ramosissima, Polypogon monspeliensis, Prionanthium pholiuroides, Tribolium hispidum
    Endemic Taxa: Disphyma dunsdonii, Drosanthemum salicola, Lampranthus salicola, Dymondia margaretae, Limonium anthericoides, Dorotheanthus clavatus, Pseudalthenia aschersoniana
    Conservation: Vulnerable. Target is 24%. Some 20% statutorily conserved in the Agulhas and West Coast National Parks as well as in the Soetendalsvlei and Rocherpan Nature Reserve.  Almost 3% enjoys protection on private land (Rietvlei, Rhenosterkop). More than 20% has been transformed for cultivated land, mines or by urban sprawl. Alien Australian herbaceous Atriplex species show invasive behaviour in places.

  • Status

    Historical cover 2 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 3.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 2.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 2 km2
    National Ecosystem Status LC: Least Concern


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetlands

  • Description

    Distribution: W Cape; altitude from 0-400m. 14.7% of this vegetation type occurs within and 85.3% outside the City. However transformation rates are higher inside City borders (55%) than nationally (22%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Flats & depressions with extensive tall reeds of Phragmites australis & Typha capensis, temporarily or permanently flooded restiolands, sedgelands & rush-beds as well as macrophytic vegetation embedded in permanent water bodies. Important species include Senecio halimifolius, Paspalum vaginatum, Pennisetum macrourum, Triglochin bulbosa, Bolboschoenus maritimus and Juncus krausii.
    Geology, Soils & Hydrology: Substrate built of fine sandy, silty or clayey soils over young Quaternary sediments, largely derived from weathering Cape Supergroup shales & granites & Table Mountain sandstones. In places, especially on shales, these wetlands can acquire a brackish character.
    Endemic Taxa: Low shrubs: Passerina paludosa; water bodies: aquatic herbs: Aponogeton angustifolius, A. distachyos, Cotula myriophylloides
    Conservation: Critically Endangered; Target 24%, some 14% conserved in Cape Peninsula & Agulhas National Parks, Rondevlei, Zandvlei etc.

  • Status

    Historical cover 14 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 15.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 6.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 5 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos

  • Description

    Incorporating Peninsula Shale Fynbos
    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Higher hills and lower mountain slopes in the Stellenbosch and Somerset West areas, in patches from Blousteen on Clarence Drive at Koeëlbaai to south of Elsenberg and within the Jonkershoek Valley, with pockets on the Cape Peninsula at Devils Peak, the Tygerberg Hills on Kanonkop, Groenberg near Wellington and the upper Franschhoek Valley. Altitude 0–700 m. 37.5% of this vegetation type occurs within and 62.5% outside the City. However, transformation rates are higher nationally (54%) than inside City borders (46.3%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating plains and steep slopes against the mountains. Vegetation is a moderately tall and dense shrubland dominated by proteoid and closed-scrub fynbos in structural terms.
    Geology & Soils: Acidic, moist clay-loamy, red-yellow apedal and Glenrosa and Mispah forms derived from Malmesbury Shales
    Climate: MAP 520–1 690 mm (mean: 865 mm), peaking from May to August. This is the shale fynbos unit with the highest rainfall. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.4°C and 6.6°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxon: Geophytic Herb: Moraea aristata
    Conservation: Vulnerable, but well conserved. Target 30% already reached since about 25% is statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park, Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Nature Reserves. An additional 25% enjoys protection in mountain catchment areas (Hottentots Holland, Hawequas). The rest of the area has been transformed, mainly for pine plantations and vineyards as well as by urban development in the Cape Town metropolitan area. Essentially only the steeper upper portions remain. The notable woody aliens include Pinus pinaster and Hakea sericea.

  • Status

    Historical cover 41 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 37.5%
    Current area in Cape Town 22.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 18 km2
    National Ecosystem Status VU: Vulnerable


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Elgin Shale Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Elgin Basin east of Grabouw and Villiersdorp Basin around Vyeboom, with pockets to the north at the uppermost part of Stettynskloof, Kaaimansgat and Rooihoogte Pass, and at the Steenbras Dam to the west. Altitude 200–450m. 3% of this vegetation type occurs within and 97% outside the City. However transformation rates are higher nationally (76%) than inside City borders (39%), thus City land is crucial to meet national conservation targets.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Undulating hills and moderately undulating plains and steep slopes of adjacent mountains. An open to medium dense tall proteoid shrubland over a matrix of moderately tall and dense evergreen shrubs, dominated by proteoid, asteraceous and closed-scrub fynbos, and ericaceous fynbos in the wetter facies.
    Geology & Soils: Acidic, moist clay-loam, Glenrosa or Mispah forms derived from Bokkeveld Group shales
    Climate: Winter-rainfall regime, with MAP 560–1 300 mm (overall mean: 830 mm), peaking from May to August. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.2°C and 6.2°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Leucadendron elimense subsp. vyeboomense, L. globosum
    Conservation: Critically Endangered. The target of 30% is double that of the remaining natural distribution. Some patches of the unit are statutorily conserved in the Theewaters and Limietberg Nature Reserves. The privately owned Solva Farm (near Grabouw) has probably the best preserved patch of this rare fynbos type. Almost 80% of the areas have been transformed, with cultivation accounting for almost 60% (mainly fruit orchards, pine plantations and the flooded area of the Theewaterskloof and Steenbras Dams). This region is characterised by very intensive and profitable agricultural land. Aliens Pinus pinaster and Hakea sericea are problems in the remaining remnants.

  • Status

    Historical cover 2 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 0.9%
    Current area in Cape Town 2.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 1 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Hangklip Sand Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Cape Peninsula on old dune fields at Hout Bay, in the Fish Hoek gap (between Fish Hoek and Noordhoek) and on Smith’s Farm (Cape Point Nature Reserve). Further on it occurs on the coastal flats from Rooiels and Cape Hangklip to Hermanus and it is well developed at the Bot River estuary. Altitude 20–150 m. 41.8% of this vegetation type is found within and 58.2% outside the City. 38.2% is transformed within the City and 31% nationally.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Sand dunes and sandy bottomlands supporting moderately tall, dense ericoid shrubland. Emergent, tall shrubs in places. Proteoid, ericaceous and restioid fynbos are dominant, with some asteraceous fynbos also present. On the coastal fringe this unit borders on strandveld. The deep soils of the coastal plains are replaced by shallow soils on mountain slopes on the northern edge. Hangklip Sand Fynbos occurs mainly on old dunes, but the high rainfall and leaching allows many typical sandstone fynbos species to occur on older deposits as well, so that this unit is not as floristically distinct as other sandstone fynbos units. 31% of this vegetation type occurs within and 69% outside the City, with similar transformation rates (40%) inside and outside the City.
    Geology & Soils: Leached, acid Tertiary sand in coastal areas, derived mostly from dunes. Soils generally of Lamotte or Houwhoek forms or grey, regic sands.
    Climate: MAP 520–1 170 mm (mean: 750 mm), peaking from May to August. By far this is the wettest of all the sandstone fynbos types. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 25.9°C and 7.5°C for January–February and July, respectively. Frost incidence about 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrub: Muraltia minuta. Succulent Shrub: Lampranthus serpens. Herb: Hypertelis trachysperma. Geophytic Herb: Haemanthus canaliculatus. Graminoid: Ischyrolepis feminea.
    Conservation: Vulnerable. Target 30%. About 20% statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and Kleinmond Nature Reserve, with an additional 3% protected in private conservation areas such as Sea Farm and Hoek-van-die-Berg. There are several reserves between Pringle Bay and Hermanus, but they are badly mismanaged with a continual attrition of reserves with sewerage farms, graveyards, golf courses and squatters and over-harvesting of flowers and plants for oils. Some 31% has been transformed, mostly by development of holiday home settlements (coastal platform between Pringle Bay and Hermanus), but also by cultivation and building of roads. Alien woody plants include Pinus pinaster, Acacia cyclops, A. saligna, various Eucalyptus species and very many other species in localised patches.

  • Status

    Historical cover 34 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 41.8%
    Current area in Cape Town 21.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 14 km2
    National Ecosystem Status VU: Vulnerable


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: From Franschhoek, Groot-Drakensteinberge and Simonsberg (near Stellenbosch) in the north passing southwards between Gordon’s Bay and Bot River to Cape Hangklip and Kleinmond in the south including the Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Groenland, Hottentots Holland, Kogelberg and Palmietberge Mountains. Altitude 20–1 590 m at summit of Somerset Sneeukop. 10.3% of this vegetation type occurs within and 89.7% outside the City. Levels of transformation nationally are higher (12%) than inside City borders (1%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: High mountains with steep to gentle slopes, and undulating plains and hills of varied aspect. General appearance of vegetation low, closed shrubland with scattered emergent tall shrubs. Proteoid, ericaceous and restioid fynbos dominate, while asteraceous fynbos is rare. Patches of Cape thicket are common in the northern areas; in the south similar habitats are occupied by scrub fynbos. Numerous seeps and seasonally saturated mountain-plateau wetlands (locally called ‘suurvlakte’) are very common and support restioid and ericaceous (dominated by Bruniaceae) fynbos.
    Geology & Soils: Acidic lithosol soils derived from Ordovician sandstones of the Table Mountain Group (Cape Supergroup). Deep sandy blankets (whitish, nutrient-poor acidic sand) develop in depressions and on slopes resisting erosion.
    Climate: MAP 670–3 000 mm (mean: 1 330 mm), peaking markedly May to August. This region has the highest recorded rainfall in the Cape (see section 2.4.2 of this chapter). Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 24.0°C and 6.1°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year. The summit cloud (the ‘Hottentot’s Blanket’) is a regular feature in summer when the Southeaster (part of the global system of trade-winds) brings heavy mist precipitation to the summits and adjacent south-facing and east-facing slopes.
    Endemic Taxa: This is the heart of the Cape flora – a true crown jewel of the temperate flora of the world. The species-level endemism is staggering (195) and this vegetation type contains two endemic genera Charadrophila and Glischrocolla. Examples of endemics: Small Tree: Mimetes arboreus. Tall Shrubs: Protea stokoei, Aspalathus globosa, A. stokoei, Cliffortia heterophylla, Liparia calycina, Mimetes hottentoticus, Orothamnus zeyheri.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered as it contains 100 Red Data species. Target 30%. The unit is statutorily well conserved (58%) in the Hottentots Holland and Groenlandberg Nature Reserves and especially in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (including Kogelberg and Kleinmond Nature Reserves). An additional 18% protected in the Hottentots-Holland Mountains catchment area. Some 17% transformed (pine plantations, cultivation, urban sprawl and spread of informal settlements). Aliens Pinus pinaster and Hakea sericea have been targeted for clearing, but remain of concern in some areas.

  • Status

    Historical cover 107 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 11.7%
    Current area in Cape Town 106.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 75 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Endemic to the City of Cape Town: Confined to the Cape Peninsula, from the tip of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain (Cape Town) to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope and including Constantiaberg and Swartkopsberge. Altitude range 20–1 086 m at Maclear’s Beacon on Table Mountain. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and it is 3% transformed.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Gentle to steep slopes, with cliffs in the north, over a 50 km long peninsula. Vegetation is a medium dense, tall proteoid shrubland over a dense moderately tall, ericoid-leaved shrubland—mainly proteoid, ericaceous and restioid fynbos, with some asteraceous fynbos.
    Geology & Soils: Acidic lithosol soils derived from Ordovician sandstones of the Table Mountain Group (Cape Supergroup), Lamotte forms prominent
    Climate: MAP 520–1 690 mm (mean: 780 mm), peaking May to August. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 25.0°C and 7.2°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year. Southeasterly cloud (the famous ‘Table Cloth’), accompanied by high wind, brings heavy mist precipitation at higher altitudes to southern and eastern slopes in summer. The region is under strong maritime influence—no part is more than 7 km from the sea.
    Endemic Taxa: Extremely rich in endemic species (146); e.g.: Small Tree: Mimetes fimbriifolius. Tall Shrubs: Erica caterviflora, Leucadendron macowanii, L. strobilinum, Liparia laevigata.
    Conservation: Endangered as it contains 65 Red Data species. Target 30%. Statutorily well conserved (90%) in the Table Mountain National Park. About 25% transformed (urban sprawl, pine plantations). Acacia melanoxylon and Pinus pinaster are occasional woody aliens. Many local patches of alien vegetation are very dense.

  • Status

    Historical cover 215 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 209.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 202 km2
    National Ecosystem Status EN: Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Peninsula Shale Renosterveld

  • Description

    Distribution: Endemic to City of Cape Town: Signal Hill and on the lower northern slopes of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak; approximately centred on the city bowl of Cape Town. Altitude 0–350 m. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and it is 89% transformed.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Gentle to steep lower slopes with tall, open shrubland and grassland, typically with renosterbos not appearing very prominent. This vegetation is very grassy due to frequent fires and lack of grazing. On Devil’s Peak these ‘renosterveld grasslands’ are frequently mowed for grazing. On south-facing slopes and upper slopes this unit merges into fynbos. The early successional stages are dominated by Asparagus capensis, Hyparrhenia hirta, Haemanthus sanguineus, various Oxalis species and resprouting Rhus lucida, after which tussock grasses, shrubs and ferns emerge. After only 12 months the reseeding species start to become more obvious.
    Geology & Soils: Clay soils derived from shale of the Tygerberg Formation, Malmesbury Group; Glenrosa, Mispah and Lamotte forms prominent
    Climate: MAP 480–870 mm (mean: 720 mm), peaking markedly from May to August. This is the wettest renosterveld type by far. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.7°C and 7.8°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: None
    Conservation: Critically Endangered vegetation unit. Target of 26% is unattainable since 89% of the area has been totally transformed (urban sprawl, cultivation and building of road infrastructure). It is statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park (10%). A fair proportion of the conserved area on Devil’s Peak is covered by pine and gum parkland. These should be restored to renosterveld as soon as possible. Notable aliens include various species of Acacia (especially A. melanoxylon).

  • Status

    Historical cover 24 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 3.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 0 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Southern Afrotemperate Forest

  • Description

    Distribution: W Cape & E Cape, largest complex in southern Cape (Knysna-Tsitsikamma). 0.4% of this vegetation type occurs within and 99.6% outside the City. Higher transformation rates occur nationally (21%) than inside City borders (1%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Tall multilayered afrotemperate forests dominated by yellowwoods, Ocotea bullata, Olea capensis and others. The emergent tree species have a subtropical affinity and are mostly widespread throughout South Africa. Tree species which occur in Cape Town Southern Afrotemperate Forest patches include Podocarpus latifolius, Rapanea melanophloeos, Cunonia capensis, Curtisia dentata and Kiggelaria africana. Well developed shrub understorey and herb layers.
    Geology & soils: Vary from shallow forms to sandy humic forms derived from TMG sandstones and shales of Cape Supergroup & partly also from Cape Granite
    Endemic taxa: Tall Tree: Platylophus trifoliatus; small trees: Apodytes geldenhuysii, Cryptocarya angustifolia, Virgilia oroboides subsp. ferruginea, V. oroboides subsp. oroboides. Megaherb: Strelitzia alba; geophytic herbs: Amauropelta knysnaensis, Clivia mirabilis, Freesia sparrmannii, Polystichum incongruum. Graminoid: Schoenoxiphum altum.
    Conservation: Least Concern. Target 34%. More than half of extant forest enjoys statutory conservation in Garden Route. Virtually all Southern Afrotemperate Forest in Cape Town is conserved in the Table Mountain National Park.

  • Status

    Historical cover 3 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 0.4%
    Current area in Cape Town 3.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 3 km2
    National Ecosystem Status LC: Least Concern


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Swartland Alluvium Fynbos

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Swartland lowlands at west-facing piedmonts of the Groot Winterhoekberge near Porterville, Saronberg, Elandskloofberge to the Limietberge near Wellington; broad valley bottoms of the Paarl, Drakenstein, Franschhoek and Banhoek Valleys, with some extensions west of Paarl Mountain and to Klapmuts. Altitude 60–250 m, rarely reaching 350 m. 3.7% of this vegetation type occurs within and 96.3% outside the City. Lower rates of transformation occurred nationally (73%) than inside City borders (95%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating plains, adjacent mountains and in river basins. The vegetation is a matrix of low, evergreen shrubland with emergent sparse, moderately tall shrubs and a conspicuous graminoid layer. Proteoid, restioid and asteraceous fynbos types are dominant, with closed-scrub fynbos common along the river courses. Ericaceous and restioid fynbos found in seeps.
    Geology & Soils: Alluvial gravel and cobble fields typically resting over Malmesbury Group schists and phyllites (in the northern part of the area) as well as over Cape Suite granites (in Drakenstein Valley from Wellington to Franschhoek) and on Malmesbury Group sandstones from Simondium to Klipheuwel
    Climate: Seasonal, winter-rainfall regime, peaking from May to August. MAP (mean: 655 mm) varies broadly from 320–980 mm (close to foot of mountains). Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 29.5°C and 6.0°C for February and July, respectively. Frost an infrequent phenomenon. This is the wettest and hottest alluvium fynbos type.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Diastella buekii, Erica alexandri, E. bakeri, Marasmodes duemmeri, M. undulata, Phylica stenopetala, Protea mucronifolia. Succulent Shrub: Lampranthus schlechteri. Geophytic Herbs: Brunsvigia elandsmontana, Bulbine monophylla, Geissorhiza furva, Moraea villosa subsp. elandsmontana, Watsonia dubia.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered. Target 30%. Nearly 10% conserved in the Waterval Nature Reserve, Winterhoek (mountain catchment area) and private reserves such as Elandsberg, Langerug and Wiesenhof Wildpark. More than 75% already transformed for vineyards, olive orchards, pine plantations, urban settlements and by building of the Voëlvlei and Wemmershoek Dams. Alien Acacia saligna and Hakea sericea are prominent in places.

  • Status

    Historical cover 17 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 3.7%
    Current area in Cape Town 1.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 1 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Swartland Alluvium Renosterveld

  • Description

    National conservation target = 26%; National status = Vulnerable; 40% transformed

  • Status

    Historical cover 0 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 0.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 0.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 0 km2
    National Ecosystem Status VU: Vulnerable


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Swartland Granite Renosterveld

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Discrete areas in the Swartland: largest patch centred on Darling from Ratelberg in the north to Dassenberg near Mamre and Pella; several centred on Malmesbury from Darmstadt in the north to the lower slopes of the Perdeberg (and small patches to the west towards Atlantis); east of Wellington from Micha to Valencia, lower surroundings of Paarl Mountain; Joostenberg, Muldersvlei, Bottelaryberg, Papegaaiberg (Stellenbosch West), to Firgrove and northern Somerset West. Altitude 50–350 m. 6.8% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 93.2% outside the City. Lower rates of transformation occurred nationally (75%) than inside City borders (86%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderate foot slopes and undulating plains supporting a mosaic of grasslands/herblands and medium dense, microphyllous shrublands dominated by renosterbos. Groups of small trees and tall shrubs are associated with heuweltjies and rock outcrops.
    Geology & Soils: Coarse sandy to loamy soils of a variety of forms ranging from Glenrosa and Mispah, to prismacutanic and pedocutanic diagnostic horizons to red-yellow apedal soils all derived from Cape Granite. The soils can contain a considerable volume of moisture in winter and spring.
    Climate: MAP 360–790 mm (mean: 520 mm), peaking from May to August. Mists common in winter. This is the wettest renosterveld unit. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 27.7°C and 6.7°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence about 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Agathosma hispida, A. latipetala, Aspalathus glabrata, A. rycroftii. Succulent Shrubs: Antimima menniei, Erepsia hallii, Lampranthus citrinus, L. scaber, Phyllobolus suffruticosus, Ruschia klipbergensis. Herbs: Arctopus dregei, Oncosiphon glabratum. Geophytic Herbs: Babiana pygmaea, B. regia, B. rubrocyanea, Geissorhiza darlingensis, G. eurystigma, G. malmesburiensis, G. mathewsii, G. radians, Haemanthus pumilio, Ixia aurea, I. curta, Lachenalia purpureo-caerulea, Moraea amissa, Oxalis stictocheila, Watsonia humilis.
    Conservation: This is a Critically Endangered vegetation unit of which almost 80% has already been transformed due to prime quality of the land for agriculture (vineyards, olive orchards, pastures) and also by urban sprawl. Hence the conservation target of 26% remains unattainable. Only very small portions (0.5%) enjoy statutory protection in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve and Pella Research Site, and also (2%) in the Paardenberg and Tinie Versveld Flower Reserve near Darling. Alien grasses are particularly pervasive, the most important being Lolium multiflorum, Avena fatua and Bromus diandrus. Alien woody species include Acacia saligna, Pinus pinaster as well as various species of Eucalyptus.

  • Status

    Historical cover 58 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 6.2%
    Current area in Cape Town 8.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 1 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Swartland Shale Renosterveld

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Large, generally continuous areas of the Swartland and the Boland on the West Coast lowlands, from Het Kruis in the north, southwards between the Piketberg and Olifantsrivierberge, widening appreciably in the region around Moorreesburg between Gouda and Hopefield, and encompassing Riebeek-Kasteel, Klipheuwel, Philadelphia, Durbanville, Stellenbosch to the south and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village near Gordon’s Bay. Altitude 50–350 m. 9.8% of this vegetation type occurs within and 90.2% outside the City. Similar transformation rates occur nationally (92%) and inside City borders (91%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating plains and valleys supporting low to moderately tall leptophyllous shrubland of varying canopy cover as well as low, open shrubland dominated by renosterbos. Heuweltjies are a very prominent local feature of the environment, forming ‘hummockveld’ near Piketberg and giving the Tygerberg Hills their name. Stunted trees and thicket are often associated with the heuweltjies. Disturbed areas are dominated by Athanasia trifurcata and Otholobium hirtum. Patches of Cynodon dactylon ‘grazing lawns’ also occur in abundance.
    Geology & Soils: Clay soils derived from Malmesbury Group shales (specifically the Porterville Formation in the north and east and the Moorreesburg Formation in the west). The soils contain prismacutanic and pedocutanic diagnostic horizons and Glenrosa and Mispah forms are predominant.
    Climate: Winter-rainfall regime, with MAP 270–670 mm (mean: 430 mm), peaking from May to August. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 29.6°C and 6.3°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 3 or 4 days per year. Mists are common in winter.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Leucadendron verticillatum, Aspalathus acanthophylla, A. horizontalis, A. pinguis subsp. longissima, A. pinguis subsp. occidentalis, A. puberula, A. rectistyla, Cliffortia acockii, Lotononis complanata, Serruria incrassata. Succulent Shrubs: Erepsia ramosa, Ruschia patens, R. pauciflora. Herb: Indigofera triquetra. Geophytic Herbs: Aristea lugens, angustifolia, B. latifolia, B. odorata, B. secunda, Hesperantha pallescens, H. spicata subsp. fistulosa, Lachenalia liliflora, L. mediana var. rogersii, L. orthopetala, Lapeirousia fastigiata, Moraea gigandra, M. tulbaghensis, Oxalis fragilis, O. involuta, O. leptocalyx, O. levis, O. macra, O. perineson, O. strigosa, Pelargonium viciifolium.
    Conservation: This is a Critically Endangered vegetation unit. Target 26%, but since 90% of the area has been totally transformed (mainly for cropland), the target remains unattainable. The remnants are found in isolated pockets, usually on steeper ground. So far only a few patches have been included in conservation schemes (e.g. Elandsberg, Paardenberg). Aliens include Acacia saligna (very scattered over 65%), A. mearnsii (very scattered over 62%) as well as several species of Prosopis and Eucalyptus. Alien annual grasses (species of Anagallis, Avena, Briza, Bromus, Lolium, Phalaris and Vulpia) are a primary problem in remnant patches. Other serious aliens include herbs such as Erodium cicutarium, E. moschatum, Echium plantagineum and Petrorhagia prolifera.

  • Status

    Historical cover 464 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 9.4%
    Current area in Cape Town 40.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 3 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Swartland Silcrete Renosterveld

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: A highly fragmented type, scattered in form of small patches throughout the Swartland from near Firgrove and Kuils River in the south to Eendekuil to Piketberg in the north. Mostly embedded within Swartland Shale Renosterveld followed by Swartland Granite Renosterveld. The largest patch is at Oupas between Moorreesburg and Mamre. Altitude 40–220 m. 14.8% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 85.2% outside the City. However transformation rates are higher nationally (92%) than inside City borders (81%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating lowlands, often on elevated areas. An open, low, cupressoid- and small-leaved, low to moderately tall shrubland with many succulents, dominated by renosterbos.
    Geology & Soils: Remnants of silcrete layers over Malmesbury Group Shale and Cape Granite. Soils with prismacutanic and/or pedocutanic diagnostic horizons or plinthic catena are dominant.
    Climate: MAP 250–650 mm (mean: 425 mm), peaking from May to August. Mists common in winter. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 28.7°C and 6.8°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 3 or 4 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrub: Marasmodes oligocephala. Succulent Shrubs: Lampranthus dilutus, Ruschia serrulata. Geophytic Herb: Babiana longiflora.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered and the conservation target of 26% remains unattainable due to total transformation of 90% (mainly turned into agricultural land). Small patches (about 1%) are statutorily conserved in the Pella Research Site, and additionally in Paardenberg and Elandsberg. Remaining patches undergo transformation by overgrazing, fire protection, and spraying with herbicides and insecticides. Alien Acacia saligna, A. mearnsii, Prosopis and Eucalyptus are also a problem in places.

  • Status

    Historical cover 10 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 10.1%
    Current area in Cape Town 2.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 2 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Western Shaleband Vegetation

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Embedded within the mountain ranges of Elandskloof, Limietberge, Wellington Sneeukop, Slanghoek, Du Toitsberge, Klein Drakenstein, Wemmershoek, Stettyns, Franschhoek (including Victoria Peak and Emerald Dome), Groenland, Hottentots Holland (including Triplets and Somerset Sneeukop), and Kogelberg. These bands extend eastwards through the Kleinrivierberge, Caledon Swartberg and Bredasdorpberge. Also included are the shale bands of the Riviersonderend Mountains and of Potberg. Altitude 50–1 800 m. 2.5% of this vegetation type occurs within and 97.5% outside the City. Transformation is low: nationally (4%) and inside City borders (<1%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: A narrow 80–200 m linear feature (up to 1 km wide in a few places and also forming rings on some ‘Sneeukop’ peaks), smooth and flat in profile compared to surrounding areas. The band supports diverse renosterveld and fynbos shrublands of all structural types including waboomveld at lower altitudes.
    Geology & Soils: Clays derived from shale of the Cedarberg Formation
    Climate: MAP 280–2 000 mm (mean: 1 070 mm), peaking from May to August. Southeasterly cloud brings heavy mist precipitation at higher altitudes in summer. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 24.3°C and 5.0°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2–10 days per year.
    Endemic Taxa: Tall Shrub: Protea lacticolor. Low Shrubs: Prismatocarpus cliffortioides, Protea caespitosa. Succulent Shrub: Lampranthus walgateae. Geophytic Herbs: Bobartia lilacina, Moraea lilacina. Graminoid: Pentameris hirtiglumis.
    Conservation: Least Concern. The target of 30% has been achieved since almost 45% of the unit is protected in statutory and local authority reserves such as Limietberg, Kogelberg, Riviersonderend, Hottentots Holland, Theewaters, De Hoop and Waterval, while an additional almost 30% is protected in mountain catchment areas such as Hawequas, Riviersonderend and Hottentots Holland. Small patches are protected in a number of private reserves. Some 6% is transformed by pine plantations. Aliens Pinus pinaster and Hakea sericea are scattered on about half of the area of the unit.

  • Status

    Historical cover 3 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 3.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 3.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 2 km2
    National Ecosystem Status LC: Least Concern


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Peninsula Granite Fynbos (South Peninsula)

  • Description (south and north peninsula subtypes combined)

    Distribution: Endemic to the City of Cape Town: Lower slopes on the Cape Peninsula from Lion’s Head to Smitswinkel Bay almost completely surrounding Table Mountain, Karbonkelberg and Constantiaberg through to the Kalk Bay Mountains. South of the Fish Hoek gap, it is limited to the eastern (False Bay) side of the Peninsula from Simon’s Bay to Smitswinkel Bay, with a few small patches between Fish Hoek and Ocean View. Altitude 0–450 m. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 65% is transformed.
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Steep to gentle slopes below the sandstone mountain slopes, and undulating hills on the western edge of the Cape Flats. Medium dense to open trees in tall, dense proteoid shrubland. A diverse type, dominated by asteraceous and proteoid fynbos, but with patches of restioid and ericaceous fynbos in wetter areas. Waboomveld is extensive in the north and heavily encroached by afrotemperate forest in places. South of Hout Bay, the dwarf form of Protea nitida is dominant, so that there are no emergent proteoids. Groves of silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum) occur on the wetter slopes.
    Geology & Soils: Deep loamy, sandy soils, red-yellow apedal or Glenrosa and Mispah forms, derived from Cape Peninsula Pluton of the Cape Granite Suite
    Climate: Typical winter-rainfall climate peaking from May to August. MAP 590–1 320 mm (mean: 960 mm). Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.0°C and 7.2°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year. The climate of this unit is almost identical to that of Boland Granite Fynbos, but shows a far stronger maritime influence.
    Endemic Taxa: Low Shrubs: Cliffortia carinata, Gnidia parvula, Hermannia micrantha, Leucadendron grandiflorum. Succulent Shrubs: Erepsia patula, Lampranthus curvifolius. Herb: Polycarena silenoides. Geophytic Herb: Aristea pauciflora. Graminoid: Willdenowia affinis.
    Conservation: Critically Endangered. Target 30%. Conserved in the Table Mountain National Park as well as on the premises of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. However, much of the conserved fynbos has been transformed into afrotemperate forest due to fire protection policies at Orangekloof and Kirstenbosch and a reluctance to use fire in green belts and on the urban fringe. The effective fynbos area conserved is thus much lower. A total of 56% transformed, mostly Cape Town urban areas (40%) on low-lying flat areas, including vineyards and pine plantations (13%). The most common alien woody species include Acacia melanoxylon, Pinus pinaster and numerous other more localised invasive alien species, reflecting the long history of colonisation and the relatively fertile soils.

  • Status

    Historical cover 92 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 39.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 33 km2
    National Ecosystem Status CR: Critically Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Cape Flats Dune Strandveld (False Bay)

  • Description (False Bay and West Coast subtypes combined)

    Distribution: Endemic to Cape Town; mainly coastal, altitude 0-80m, but reaching 200m in places
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Flat to slightly undulating dune field landscape. Structurally, strandveld is a tall, evergreen, hard-leaved shrubland with abundant grasses, annual herbs and succulents in the gaps. Examples of prominent shrub species include Euclea racemosa, Metalasia muricata, Olea exasperata, Chrysanthemoides monilifera and Roepera flexuosum. Strandveld has few endemic species compared to fynbos. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and 56% is transformed.
    Geology & Soils: Tertiary to recent calcareous sand of marine origin. Outcrops of limestone found on the False Bay coast.
    Climate: Mean Annual Rainfall 350mm in N to 560mm in S
    Endemic Taxon: Lampranthus tenuifolius
    Conservation: Endangered: target 24%; 6% conserved

  • Status

    Historical cover 401 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 100.0%
    Current area in Cape Town 180.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 64 km2
    National Ecosystem Status EN: Endangered


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
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Peninsula Shale Fynbos (Incorporated into Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos)

  • Description

    Distribution: Western Cape Province: Higher hills and lower mountain slopes in the Stellenbosch and Somerset West areas, in patches from Blousteen on Clarence Drive at Koeëlbaai to south of Elsenberg and within the Jonkershoek Valley, with pockets on the Cape Peninsula at Devils Peak, the Tygerberg Hills on Kanonkop, Groenberg near Wellington and the upper Franschhoek Valley. Altitude 0–700 m. 37.5% of this vegetation type occurs within and 62.5% outside the City. However, transformation rates are higher nationally (54%) than inside City borders (46.3%).
    Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating plains and steep slopes against the mountains. Vegetation is a moderately tall and dense shrubland dominated by proteoid and closed-scrub fynbos in structural terms.
    Geology & Soils: Acidic, moist clay-loamy, red-yellow apedal and Glenrosa and Mispah forms derived from Malmesbury Shales
    Climate: MAP 520–1 690 mm (mean: 865 mm), peaking from May to August. This is the shale fynbos unit with the highest rainfall. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.4°C and 6.6°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year.
    Endemic Taxon: Geophytic Herb: Moraea aristata
    Conservation: Vulnerable, but well conserved. Target 30% already reached since about 25% is statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park, Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Nature Reserves. An additional 25% enjoys protection in mountain catchment areas (Hottentots Holland, Hawequas). The rest of the area has been transformed, mainly for pine plantations and vineyards as well as by urban development in the Cape Town metropolitan area. Essentially only the steeper upper portions remain. The notable woody aliens include Pinus pinaster and Hakea sericea.

  • Status

    Historical cover 41 km2
    Percentage in Cape Town 37.5%
    Current area in Cape Town 22.0 km2
    Conserved/managed in Cape Town 18 km2
    National Ecosystem Status VU: Vulnerable


 
Sourced from FynbosLIFE director Dr Pat Holmes' "Summarised descriptions of national vegetation types occurring in the City of Cape Town" (Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008), which is based on Rebelo et al. (2006) Fynbos Biome. In L. Mucina & M. C. Rutherford [Eds], The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Cape Town Vegetation Map

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Awards
FynbosLIFE and its Cape Flats Fynbos Nursery are one of a kind advocating greening according to local veld type, an approach which has received recognition through the John Winter prize for the Best Stand on Show at the Botanical Society of South Africa’s Kirstenbosch Plant Fair in 2015, a Silver Biodiversity Award at the 2015/2016 Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards and selection as one of the top five Eco-Logic green businesses in South Africa for 2015/2016.