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.
Historical vegetation cover within the boundaries of Cape Town.
|Genus||Scientific name||Common name||Features|
|Erica||Erica abietina||Red Heath||Nectar-rich (sunbird)|
|Melianthus||Melianthus major||Touch-me-not||Nectar-rich (sunbird) Bird friendly Medicinal use|