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The CAPE FLORISTIC REGION is a floristic region located near the southern tip of South Africa
South Africa
. It is the only floristic region of the Cape (South African) Floristic Kingdom, and includes only one floristic province , known as the Cape Floristic Province.

The Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism , and is home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic. Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland. The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g. wildflowers ) and eco-tourism , is estimated to be in the region of R 77 million a year. Thus, it is clear that the Cape Floristic Region
Cape Floristic Region
has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot .

CONTENTS

* 1 Location and description * 2 Flora * 3 Ecology * 4 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
* 5 References * 6 External links

LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION

Home to the greatest non-tropical concentration of higher plant species in the world, the region is the only hotspot that encompasses an entire floral kingdom, and holds five of South Africa’s 12 endemic plant families and 160 endemic genera. Covering 78,555 km², Cape Floristic Region
Cape Floristic Region
hotspot is located entirely within the borders of South Africa. It is one of the five temperate Mediterranean-type systems on the hotspots list, and is one of only two hotspots that encompass an entire floral kingdom (the other being New Caledonia
New Caledonia
). The Region covers the Mediterranean climate region of South Africa
South Africa
in the Western Cape in the southwestern corner of the country, and extends eastward into the Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape
, a transitional zone between the winter rainfall region to the west and the summer-rainfall region to the east in KwaZulu-Natal .

FLORA

Most of the region is covered with fynbos , a sclerophyllous shrubland occurring on acid sands or nutrient poor soils derived from Table Mountain Sandstones (Cape Supergroup). Fynbos
Fynbos
is home to an amazing diversity of plant species including many members of the Protea family ( Proteaceae
Proteaceae
), Heath family ( Ericaceae
Ericaceae
), and Reed family of restios ( Restionaceae ). Other vegetation types are sandveld , a soft coastal scrubland found mostly on the west-facing coast of the Western Cape Province , on tertiary sands. Renosterveld is a grassy shrubland dominated by members of the Daisy family (Asteraceae – particularly renosterbos (Elytropappus rhinocerotis), graminoids and geophytes, occurring on the base-rich shaley soils of the coastal forelands. Small pockets of Afromontane
Afromontane
forest (Southern Afrotemperate Forest ) can be found in humid and sheltered areas.

According to Takhtajan (1978), the following families are endemic or subendemic to the region: Grubbiaceae , Roridulaceae
Roridulaceae
, Bruniaceae
Bruniaceae
, Penaeaceae , Greyiaceae , Geissolomataceae , Retziaceae ( Retzia ) and Stilbaceae .

ECOLOGY

The World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund
divides the Cape floristic region into three ecoregions , the Lowland fynbos and renosterveld , Montane fynbos and renosterveld and the Albany thickets .

The fynbos ecoregions are designated one of the Global 200
Global 200
priority ecoregions for conservation. Conservation International declared the Cape florist