Plant types in Fynbos
Typically no single species is dominant. The shrubby vegetation contain three distinctive elements: Proteoids, Ericoid and Restioid. These groups comprise plants that resemble the growth forms of Proteaceae, Ericaceae and Restionaceae but do not necessarily belong to these families.
Proteoids: tall bushes with hard leaves with a dull surface
(Proteaceae e.g..: Protea, Leucadendron, Leucospermum).
Ericoids: shrubs with small leaves, narrow and often rolled
(e.g..: Ericaceae, Bruniaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae).
Restioids: tufted plants with near leafless, tubular or wiry non-woody stems
(e.g..: Restionaceae, some Cyperaceae and some grasses).
General Characteristics of Fynbos
- Amazing diversity of species. Of the 18 532 plant species in Southern Africa 8 550 are found in Capensis (Cape Floral Kingdom) with 6 252 being endemic (found only in the area).
- Many species occur in the same area - up to 121 in an area of 100 maż have been recorded without one dominating the other.
- There are not many fynbos trees. In its "pure" form fynbos is usually treeless.
- Poor and infertile soil as well as broken terrain - from mountain peaks to sea-level, is usually indicative of the appearance of fynbos.
- Fynbos has adapted to fires and is able to survive periodic outbreaks.