One of the many types of "FYNBOS" in the Cape.
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ORIGIN OF THE NAME
Rural folk have long known fynbos for its poor grazing quality and its soils for having little agricultural value. The vegetation's apparent worthlessness may explain the origin of the term, "fynbos". The term has been used since the time of the Dutch settlement at the Cape. The predominant vegetation on the Cape Peninsula had timber too fine and slender for harvesting (for building) and was thus given the name "fijnbosch". The name may also refer to the dominance of small- or fine-leafed shrubs.
To many people, fynbos is merely seen as the drab covering on mountain slopes. At a distance fynbos does seem like inconspicuous clumps of spiky grass. It is only when you experience it closely that you discover the rich variety of its exquisite flowers.
So special is the Cape Floral Kingdom that it has been designated as one of the earth's six plant kingdoms, alongside for instance, the Boreal Forest Kingdom. It is the smallest Floral Kingdom in the world and in quite a league of its own. The Cape Floral Kingdom contains 526 of the world's 740 erica species, 96 out of the world's 160 gladiolus species and 69 proteas out of 112 on earth.