Cape (South African) Biokingdom

By far the smallest of the world’s biokingdoms, the Cape BioKingdom is justified because of its exceptionally distinctive plant life. It includes the Cape Region of South Africa extending in a relatively narrow zone from areas just west of the Cape Peninsula to the vicinity of Port Elizabeth in the east. The plant life comprises about eight endemic or near endemic families of vascular plants.

Cape BioRegion

The Cape BioRegion is synonymous with the Cape BioKingdom and basically staddles the southern extremity of South Africa from the mouth of the Olifants River in the west to Port Elizabeth in the east. In the north it is thought to extend to Nieuwoudtville following the eastern slopes of the Cederberg and east from Karoopoort along the norther slopes of the Witteburg, Swartberg, Baviaans Kloff and Groot Winterhoek mountains. Despite its small size the area supports some 8550 plant species 73% of which are endemic. It includes eight endemic or near endemic plant families (Bruniaceae, Geissolomataceae, Greyiaceae, Grubbiaceae, Penaeaceae, Rutziaceae and Stilbaceae) and about 400 endemic genera. The following bioprovince is recognised:

Cape BioProvince


Fynbos on Table Mountain in the Cape BioKingdom (Copyright © 2010 Peter Martin Rhind).