We have been putting together some walks through the fynbos here at Phillipskop. These help you to get to know some of the plants that are flowering at different times of the year, as well as being an introduction to fynbos and what makes the Cape Flora so species. It also highlights some of the groups of plants, such as Oxalis and Protea, showing you how to identify the genus and separate the species.
What is fynbos? Chris Whitehouse explores what it is that defines fynbos as a vegetation type. He takes a closer look at some of the plants flowering at Phillipskop in April that characterise the fynbos habitat, in particular members of the Proteaceae, Ericaceae and Restionaceae. Diversity of the Cape Flora Chris takes you on a short walk through the fynbos at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve in the Klein River Mountains looking at some of the plants that are flowering at this time of the year (March 2020). He also talks about the diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom and why it is considered one of the hottest of hotspots for plant diversity in the world. Endemism of the Cape Flora On a short walk at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, Chris Whitehouse looks at a few of the species endemic to the Cape Floristic Kingdom. This includes a couple of special plants found at Phillipskop that are narrow endemics of the Klein River Mountains and surrounding area. Oxalis of the Klein River Mountains In autumn and early winter the Oxalis start to flower in the fynbos. Chris Whitehouse looks how to identify an Oxalis and the unusual feature of heterostyly that the species share. He then looks at five species that are flowering at the end of April at Phillipskop and how to identify them. Protea of the Klein River Mountains The proteas are the best known genus of the fynbos and one of the first plants that people learn to identify. Although easy to recognise, Chris Whitehouse explains the key identifying features of a Protea and looks at how to identify some of the commoner proteas of the Klein River Mountains. Arrival of the Winter Rain As the first rains of the winter approach, Chris Whitehouse takes another walk in the fynbos to see what is flowering at this time of the year. Fynbos is mainly found in a winter rainfall zone of the south west of South Africa. The rain comes in a series of cold fronts predominantly between May and October. As the rains begin, despite the cold, many plants choose this as their optimum time to flower.