Plant Life in South Africa

The land of South Africa is home to a beautiful world of plants.

South Africa has extensive fine grasslands, scrubby bushes, dense greenery and mountain plains.

It has more than 22 000 indigenous seed plants that belong to 230 different families.

And 10% of the entire world’s flowering species can be found here.

Natural occurring plants in the various region of South Africa (flora) have made South Africa comfortable to many different animal species.

A number of plants, especially succulents, have historically been used for their medicinal qualities by the indigenous community of South Africa.

With the passage of time, the indigenous people discovered which plant was edible and which was poisonous, which South African plants could act as cures and soothe, and which could prove to be fatal.

In the modern day, many native South African plants are still used by the traditional folk.

Floral regions in South Africa

Cape Floral Region

Nested in the Western Cape, the Cape Floral Region also spreads out to some parts of the Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. The region is 1,094,742 hectare squares.

It has been part of the World Heritage list since 2004 and is globally recognised as a wonder in terms of plant life.

The region is diverse, dense and has a large number of endemic species. It has 3% of the world’s plants and 20% of the plants of the African continent.

Namaqualand Region

Namaqualand classifies as an arid region and is shared by Namibia and South Africa, it covers a total area of 440,000 square kilometres.

Each year, the region goes from an arid scrubby to being blanketed by colourful wildflowers.

Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve

A scenic gorge that’s barely tucked in between two sets of mountain ranges.

Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve is a part of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

The range of landscapes at the reserve host more than 1000 plant types. Including two ancient plant species which are considered to be ancient.

Richtersveld Botanical Landscape

Classified as a World Heritage Site in 2007, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a dramatic mountainous desert in north-western South Africa.

The landscape has more than 6,350 vascular plant types, almost half of which (2,440) are endemic to South Africa.

The area is owned and managed by Nama people that live there.