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Flora

Due to the large differences in climate South Africa has very diverse vegetation. Tropical palm species are interspersed with impressive proteas which are found only in rocky areas. In these ancient dry desert areas the flowering flora has also found its turn. The country accounts for a large range of different types of flowers and eccentric trees. Well-known species such as the flare, gladiolus, freesia, rose tuber-and even the typically Dutch 'home garden and kitchen geranium are all from South Africa.

The Fynbos region in the southwest of the country has a very impressive plant world to offer, because thousands of species that are found only in South Africa grow here. This area proudly bears the title "Flora Rich", and not for nothing as there are only six available on the world map. In a rich flora area the vegetation varies greatly from species that are found in other areas. In this Fynbos area or the Cape plant kingdom it is graced with the red disa as the 'pride of Table Mountain'. This red disa is probably the most imposing of the about 100 disa types which South Africa is rich of. Despite its name, the flower can also be pink or orange. If you find a yellow one, then, it is a rare specimen. This flower is found along ravines and waterfalls and keeps growing & spreading throughout the Western Cape.

At the slopes of Table Mountain, a visit to the botanical gardens of Kirstenbosch is worthwhile. This flower is rich with more than 600 native species, one of the most famous pieces of flora in the world. Palm Ferns and vast areas of spring flowers adorn the landscape. For the visually impaired it is nice at the entrance with a fragrance garden, which is also worth a visit for people with good eyes.

The giant protea is the rich flora that is like the lion is in the wildlife kingdom. This royal flower is impressive because of its size (30 cm in diameter) and striking colours. This giant protea is the national flower of South Africa. A very distinct appearance is its higher living brother: the snow protea. On the highest summits of the Cederberg Mountains these protea lives in his solitary existence. In bloom you will see the flower open like a big mouth with teeth and a red interior. The flower buds look like snowballs and it "Loves the cold."

North of the colourful Fynbos area starts a region with its green so not entirely a real desert. This semi-desert includes the Klein Karoo and behind the Great Karoo. The area has wild green vegetation because the desert is very old and the flora has long had time to get used to the climate. Especially after a downpour the Karoo succulents turn up, such as euphorbia. A walk through the area where the war was is beautiful because of its ravines and mountain Fynbos.

A loyal citizen of the dry plains of South Africa is the quiver tree. This tree looks like he's dying (or actually is) but decorates the landscape by its peculiar appearance of branches that crisscross each other protruding upward.

The half-human and half-flower, but despite its name it is one hundred percent plant, but in appearance it is reminiscent of the figure of a man. The impressive plant is one of the species on the Red List of endangered species. The 'arms' of this plant always point to the north and red-brown flowers grow from the tops. The Half Man-Forest, east of Sendelingsdrift, you will find this special appearance in large numbers.

In Namaqualand we find some stapelia-like plants. This includes a number of species that are reminiscent of a cactus; some remarkable flowers only grow and spread quite a stench to attract flies.

If you are hungry and you encounter the 'hoodia' you're in luck. You can chew the plant, thereby eliminating hunger... During low trails the Bushmen made use of it here. At that time, a drug that helps against obesity was developed!

Only half a percent of the whole country consists of forests. It is remarkable that 1000 different species of trees are still standing and have their roots in the South African soil surface. On the slopes of the Drakensberg we find the many rainfall vast mountain forests. Near East London it is common for subtropical forests, including many species of palm, wild bananas and mangroves. Periwinkle despite its innocent name is a poisonous species. Near Port Elizabeth we find forests with towering 'yellow trees' and century-old trees.

At the baobab tree it looks as if it has been planted upside down, because the wild branches and roots are in the air looking like they are stabbing the air. Eccentrics are often rare, so is the Baobab which only occurs in some parts of the Limpopo province. In addition to the enormous size of the tribe is the life of some baobab's that is even more impressive; some of these 'old hands' were there long before the Christian era.

In the western desert regions of South Africa grows a remarkable tree. All extinct specimens remained but one saved: the "Welwitschia mirabilis". This tree also resembles a giant, pulled out of the ground carrot with leaves that seem to crawl on the ground.