Congratulations to Deidre and Lara Strydom, Xplorio Gansbaai’s first ever competition winners.
When taking your first look at the low shrubs that stretch before you, Fynbos doesn’t seem all that impressive. Mostly consisting of low shrubs and bulbous herbs with hardy thick leaves which doesn’t spark a real interest. But in the case of Fynbos, first impressions don’t count.
The somewhat mediocre appearance lends to these hardy plants being able to withstand low nutrient soils, heavy downpours, strong winds and even droughts. Hidden below their tough, leathery exterior the plants of the Proteaceae. Ericaceae, Restionaceae and Asteraceae families make up the most fascinating biome in the world, the Fynbos Biome.
So the question remains, what makes Fynbos so funky? Have a look at these 5 facts that we bet you didn’t know about Fynbos:
1. Fynbos is a Phoenix
Where most plants perish in the devastating path of fire Fynbos thrives on it. The heat from veld fires opens the cones of Leucodendron and Proteaceae species and allow for the germination of the seeds. For the bulbous species, it clears the canopy of overgrowing plants, fertilizes the soil and allows for the bulbous plant flowers to emerge from their static underground state. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Fynbos makes it grand appearance after fire.
2. Diversity is Fynbos’ second name
The Cape Floral Kingdom is made up of about 80% Fynbos (the smallest of the 6 Biomes in South Africa) and although it is the smallest of the floral kingdoms, it is the most diverse. Made up of about 9000 different species, ±70% of which is found nowhere else in the world, the Cape Floral Kingdom is more diverse in species than the Amazon Forest.
3. Pretty in Pink and All Ours
The Overberg favourite, Erica Irregularis, can only be found on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and during the winter months it paints the hills of the reserve in shades of bright pink.
4. Fynbos is Proudly South African
Fynbos is only found in a small belt of the Western Cape of South Africa where it thrives in coastal, mountainous areas with a winter rainfall and Mediterranean climate.
5. Fynbos is King
The most famous Fynbos flower is most likely the King Protea (Protea cynaroides) which coincidently is also the national flower of South Africa.
The spectacular resilience and beauty of Fynbos have inspired countless artworks, storytellers and nature lovers. And now it has even inspired the funky folks of the Overberg to create an event entirely dedicated to the fabulousness that is Fynbos, the Funky Fynbos Festival.
Consisting of a full weekend of outdoor activities, food, arts and crafts and fun, this is the funkiest festival in the Overberg. Events for the weekend include MTB Races, hiking and walking trails, a food meander, stalls, quad biking, horse riding, fresh water fishing, wine tasting, Fynbos walks and displays, Platbos Forest walks, reforestation, pony rides and more to entertain the kids and much more!
Let us show you what’s funky about Fynbos!!
Images courtesy of Saleem Khan Photography and Grootbos Private Nature Reserve