Comprising the smallest floral Kingdom in the world, the Fynbos floral Kingdom of South Africa is also one of the most diverse, internationally famous for the Proteacae. Little known to most travellers and photographers however is that the flowering season occurs mainly during the austral autumn and winter months starting at the end of February and finishing towards the end of November which coincides with the winter rainfall of the Cape Province and the Garden Route.
But every natural rule has exceptions, especially currently in the phase of global warming.
A geophyte which has a later flowering are the Watsonia’s. Bulbs which sprout leaves in August, the push up a plume of flowers which in some species can stand 1.5m tall. Vivid colour’s, these ants can shroud hectares with their blooms.
While most Mesems bloom during winter months, a photographic hike through the Fynbos can expose a few plant’s flowering towards the end of November.
Arguably the genus with the greatest diversity in petal form has to be the Erica’s. Associated with this petal variety is the extended flowering window of different species, a sure thing for summer visitors seeking a representative of the Fynbos.
Like the Protea’s, the Erica’s display variation in bloom colour.
But the Fynbos is not centered around colourful flowers, but also interesting shapes and hues of green of which the Retios are renowned.
Of course in the thick of this vegetation some interesting animal life abounds. Like the Spider Wasp which stings a spider, drags it to burrow, lays an egg on the spider and buries it alive but paralysed so that the larvae has a fresh supply of food when the egg hatches. Either way, a walk through the Fynbos with a camera will be a rewarding experience.