Peninsula Shale Renosterveld


Distribution: Endemic to City of Cape Town: Signal Hill and on the lower northern slopes of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak; approximately centred on the city bowl of Cape Town. Altitude 0–350 m. 100% of this vegetation type occurs within the City and it is 89% transformed.

Vegetation & Landscape Features: Gentle to steep lower slopes with tall, open shrubland and grassland, typically with renosterbos not appearing very prominent. This vegetation is very grassy due to frequent fires and lack of grazing. On Devil’s Peak these ‘renosterveld grasslands’ are frequently mowed for grazing. On south-facing slopes and upper slopes this unit merges into fynbos. The early successional stages are dominated by Asparagus capensis, Hyparrhenia hirta, Haemanthus sanguineus, various Oxalis species and resprouting Rhus lucida, after which tussock grasses, shrubs and ferns emerge. After only 12 months the reseeding species start to become more obvious.

Geology & Soils: Clay soils derived from shale of the Tygerberg Formation, Malmesbury Group; Glenrosa, Mispah and Lamotte forms prominent.

Climate: MAP 480–870 mm (mean: 720 mm), peaking markedly from May to August. This is the wettest renosterveld type by far. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.7°C and 7.8°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year.

Endemic Taxa: None.

Conservation: Critically endangered vegetation unit. Target of 26% is unattainable since 89% of the area has been totally transformed (urban sprawl, cultivation and building of road infrastructure). It is statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park (10%). A fair proportion of the conserved area on Devil’s Peak is covered by pine and gum parkland. These should be restored to renosterveld as soon as possible. Notable aliens include various species of Acacia (especially A. melanoxylon).

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Historical vegetation cover within the boundaries of Cape Town.

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Historical cover
24 km2
Percentage in Cape Town
Current area in Cape Town
3.0 km2
Conserved/managed in Cape Town
0 km2
Conservation status
CR: Critically Endangered


We have the following species in our database that match this vegetation type.
Genus Scientific name Common name Features
Agrostis Agrostis lachnantha var. lachnantha
Albuca Albuca canadensis
Amaryllis Amaryllis belladonna
Arctopus Arctopus echinatus
Arctotheca Arctotheca calendula Capeweed
Asparagus Asparagus asparagoides
Asparagus Asparagus capensis Wild Asparagus
Asparagus Asparagus declinatus
Asparagus Asparagus undulatus
Athanasia Athanasia crithmifolia
Athanasia Athanasia trifurcata
Babiana Babiana fragrans
Baeometra Baeometra uniflora
Bolboschoenus Bolboschoenus maritimus
Bulbine Bulbine alooides
Chasmanthe Chasmanthe aethiopica Small cobra lily Nectar-rich (sunbird) Bird friendly Medicinal use
Chasmanthe Chasmanthe floribunda Cobra lily Nectar-rich (sunbird) Bird friendly Medicinal use
Chironia Chironia baccifera Christmas berry Medicinal use
Chrysocoma Chrysocoma coma-aurea
Colchicum Colchicum eucomoides
Cotula Cotula coronopifolia
Cotula Cotula turbinata
Crossyne Crossyne cf. guttata
Cyanella Cyanella hyacinthoides
Cymbopogon Cymbopogon marginatus
Cyphia Cyphia bulbosa
Dietes Dietes iridioides Wood iris Medicinal use
Dimorphotheca Dimorphotheca pluvialis
Ehrharta Ehrharta calycina
Elytropappus Elytropappus rhinocerotis
Empodium Empodium plicatum
Erepsia Erepsia anceps
Eriocephalus Eriocephalus africanus Wild rosemary Medicinal use
Eriocephalus Eriocephalus africanus var. africanus
Euclea Euclea racemosa
Felicia Felicia filifolia
Galenia Galenia pubescens var. pubescens
Geissorhiza Geissorhiza aspera Goldblatt
Geissorhiza Geissorhiza Ixia
Geissorhiza Geissorhiza juncea
Geissorhiza Geissorhiza maculata
Gnidia Gnidia laxa
Gomphocarpus Gomphocarpus fruticosus
Gymnosporia Gymnosporia buxifolia
Helichrysum Helichrysum cymosum subsp. cymosum
Helichrysum Helichrysum patulum Honeyeverlasting Medicinal use
Heliophila Heliophila coronopifolia
Hemimeris Hemimeris racemosa
Hermannia Hermannia hyssopifolia
Hermannia Hermannia multiflora
Hyparrhenia Hyparrhenia hirta
Indigofera Indigofera incana
Indigofera Indigofera psoraloides
Kiggelaria Kiggelaria africana Wild peach Bird friendly Medicinal use
Lachenalia Lachenalia fistulosa
Lachenalia Lachenalia mediana var. mediana
Lampranthus Lampranthus emarginatus
Leucadendron Leucadendron argenteum Silver tree Bird friendly
Lobelia Lobelia erinus
Moraea Moraea aristata Blue - eyed Moraea
Moraea Moraea cf. virgata subsp. virgata
Moraea Moraea flaccida One-leaf Cape Tulip
Moraea Moraea gawleri Crisp Tulp
Moraea Moraea miniata Two-leaved Cape Tulip
Moraea Moraea setifolia Paper Glasstulp
Muraltia Muraltia demissa
Myrsine Myrsine africana Cape Myrtle Bird friendly Medicinal use
Olea Olea europaea subspescies africana
Ornithogalum Ornithogalum thyrsoides Chincherinchee Medicinal use
Osteospermum Osteospermum moniliferum
Osteospermum Osteospermum monstrosum
Otholobium Otholobium hirtum
Otholobium Otholobium virgatum
Othonna Othonna arborescens
Oxalis Oxalis caprina Goat's foot
Oxalis Oxalis compressa
Oxalis Oxalis hirta Hairy sorrel
Oxalis Oxalis obtusa
Oxalis Oxalis pes-caprae Bermuda-buttercup
Oxalis Oxalis purpurea
Oxalis Oxalis tomentosa
Oxalis Oxalis versicolor
Passerina Passerina corymbosa
Pauridia Pauridia capensis
Pelargonium Pelargonium cucullatum subsp. tabulare
Pelargonium Pelargonium elongatum
Pelargonium Pelargonium myrrhifolium var. myrrhifolium
Pelargonium Pelargonium triste Night-scented pelargonium Medicinal use
Pentameris Pentameris airoides subsp. airoides
Podalyria Podalyria sericea Silver sweet pea bush
Polygala Polygala myrtifolia
Romulea Romulea bulbifera
Romulea Romulea cf. grandiflora subsp. fimbriata
Romulea Romulea flava
Romulea Romulea hirsuta
Romulea Romulea obscura
Romulea Romulea rosea
Romulea Romulea sparaxis
Ruschia Ruschia rubricaulis
Salvia Salvia africana-caerulea Blue sage Medicinal use
Sarcocornia Sarcocornia cf. capensis
Searsia Searsia crenata Dune crow-berry
Searsia Searsia glauca
Searsia Searsia laevigata var. villosa
Searsia Searsia lucida
Searsia Searsia tomentosa
Senecio Senecio burchellii
Seriphium Seriphium plumosum Kooigoed Medicinal use
Silene Silene burchellii var. angustifolia
Tenaxia Tenaxia stricta
Tetragonia Tetragonia herbacea
Themeda Themeda triandra
Thesium Thesium funale
Trachyandra Trachyandra ciliata
Trachyandra Trachyandra muricata
Trachyandra Trachyandra revoluta
Ursinia Ursinia anthemoides
Ursinia Ursinia anthemoides subsp. anthemoides
Watsonia Watsonia meriana var. meriana
Watsonia Watsonia spectabilis Nectar-rich (sunbird)
Zantedeschia Zantedeschia aethiopica White arum lily Bird friendly Medicinal use
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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