Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos


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.

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Historical vegetation cover within the boundaries of Cape Town.

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Historical cover
215 km2
Percentage in Cape Town
Current area in Cape Town
209.0 km2
Conserved/managed in Cape Town
202 km2
Conservation status
EN: Endangered


We have the following species in our database that match this vegetation type.
Genus Scientific name Common name Features
Anisodontea Anisodontea scabrosa rough-leaf African mallow, sand rose, pink mallow, hairy mallow Pot plant Least Concern
Erica Erica abietina Red Heath Nectar-rich (sunbird) Pot plant Least Concern
Melianthus Melianthus major Touch-me-not Nectar-rich (sunbird) Bird friendly Medicinal use Least Concern
Osmitopsis Osmitopsis asteriscoides Swamp daisy Medicinal use Wet sites Least Concern
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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