Of the 9,000 plant species found here, a majority are native fynbos
vegetation, which covers the region's magnificent mountains
, and lowland valleys
and coastal plains.
When you first look across an expanse of fynbos, you may not at first be impressed by the collection of low scrubby plants and a few bushes. But when you look a bit closer you will see the sheer diversity of these numerous species found nowhere else in the world.
The country's national flower, the king protea
), is perhaps the most famous species of fynbos, along with ericas and reeds.
A large number of fynbos species are very rare and in danger of becoming extinct.
Constantly under threat from invading plant species
, particularly wattle and acacia trees from Australia, as well as from urban expansion and land conversion for agriculture, WWF is committed to protecting the biodiversity of the Cape floral kingdom
through a number of conservation projects and by supporting the Cape Action for People and the Environment
Parts of the fynbos have also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
and protected in a number of reserves.