Peninsula Granite Fynbos


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 Restio 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: 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.

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Historical vegetation cover within the boundaries of Cape Town.

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Historical cover
92 km2
Percentage in Cape Town
Current area in Cape Town
39.0 km2
Conserved/managed in Cape Town
33 km2
Conservation status
EN: Endangered
Information on Cape Town's vegetation comes from Summarized Descriptions of National Vegetation Types Occurring in the City of Cape Town by Patricia Holmes, Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008

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