New Book on Limestone Fynbos

Hi,

We would like to make you aware of this new book, on Limestone Fynbos, published by the Duiwenshok Conservancy. Limestone Fynbos is an intriguing flora that occurs on our southern (Cape) coast, wherever there are limestone hills or cliffs. Most of the plants occur in a broad sweep from Gansbaai to the Gouritz River, including pockets at Cape Point and Macassar. This flora can be divided into three natural units, Agulhas Limestone, De Hope Limestone and Canca Limestone. In December 2007 Veld and Flora published an article on the Agulhas Limestone. The Duiwenhoks Conservancy has added a new aspect to the literature available on this rather unknown flora by publishing a book that describes the Limestone Fynbos of the Vermaaklikheid area, near Heildelberg, which falls in the Canca Limestone unit.

Duiwenoks Conservancy

Duiwenoks Conservancy

Limestone Fynbos is floristically very different from other vegetation. The reason for this is that these plants thrive on a soil type that would be toxic to most fynbos plants, which are normally found on acidic or neutral soils. They grow on limestone soils, which are so alkaline that if you squeeze lemon juice on them they will fizz. It is this alkalinity in the soil that is toxic to most fynbos plants. In a remarkable adaptation to a hostile soil environment, Limestone Fynbos has evolved as a unique flora that shares only a few species in common with sandstone fynbos and sand fynbos. As one would expect from a flora that is confined to such specific soils, many plants are endemic, meaning that they grow only on such soils or even at only one locality.

At first glance, this little-known flora appears as dry woody scrub. On closer inspection a fascinating array of intriguing and sometimes tiny flowers emerge. Over the past ten years, the author Louisa Oberholzer began collecting, describing and photographing the plants in the Vermaaklikheid area of the Western Cape ( Near Stillbaai). The Duiwenhoks Conservancy provided financial support for the identification of the species and finally for the publication of the book, Limestone Fynbos of the Vermaaklikheid Area. It presents a photographic record and description of 124 species. Of particular interest are the intriguing Fabaceae, or pea-like flowers and the pungent buchus, which belong to the Rutacea or citrus family.

The aim of the publication is to inform the public and particularly landowners about the value of Limestone Fynbos and the importance controlling alien vegetation, which is a major threat to all the fynbos plant communities.

The book is priced at R130.00 available from the Duiwenhoks Conservancy, (michellehill@mweb.co.za) and also from the author, (louisa.stanford@gmail.com)

Kind regards

Rob Hill Treasurer Duiwenhoks Conservancy

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2 Responses to New Book on Limestone Fynbos

  1. Elephant's Eye November 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    This would be a wonderful resource for gardeners in the area, who want to plant indigenous and support wildlife. I had to learn to garden on heavy clay, where it is TOO hot for the fynbos I tried planting. I imagine the limestone would be challenging to garden without the help of this book!

  2. mol-d November 4, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    this type of vegetation is a world away from tropical durban but this book looks great!

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