Know, grow, protect and enjoy South Africa's indigenous plants

Location: Overberg, Western Cape, South Africa

Southern Overberg Branch

 

This branch, which has about 60 members today, is involved in alien-clearing initiatives across the greater Agulhas Plain, as well as with successfully securing stewardship sites with farmers as well as the local municipality. The branch raises awareness of their local flower heritage by arranging talks and outings for members.

About the branch

This branch has its roots in a flower club, the Bredasdorp Blomskool started in 1980, which then became a branch of BotSoc after members were motivated to disprove a UCT lecturer’s declaration that the area was “botanically uninteresting”. They certainly did that, contributing to the conservation of the area’s rich natural heritage in many ways. 

About the Area

 

Encompassing the southern tip of Africa, the branch footprint includes De Hoop Nature Reserve and the Agulhas National Park, as well as greater Bredasdorp, Swellendam and Gansbaai. This is an area of rich floral diversity. Many types of fynbos are found in the Southern Overberg, such as Acid sand fynbos, Limestone fynbos, and critically endangered Elim Ferricrete. Through the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust, farmers across the Southern Overberg are increasingly signing up their small portions of undeveloped land as stewardship/easement sites to protect highly endangered Renosterveld sites in perpetuity. The major difference between fynbos and Renosterveld is that, where fynbos is found on nutrient poor soils, Renosterveld soils are fertile and have therefore been almost entirely converted to the growing of canola, wheat, etc. This species-rich vegetation is now mostly only found on steep slope or rocky sites.      

Cool Facts

1.

The Southern Overberg boasts about 2 500 species of flora, of which 300 are endemic to the area. Erica recurvata (about 40 known plants) and Cyrtanthus guthrieae (only found in the mountain range above Bredasdorp) are two of the most rare endemics found in this area. 

2.

After years of trials and fundraising, the branch published the area’s very first wildflower guide in 1997. It can be found at the bookshop at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. 

3.

Although without a local botanical garden, the area hasa number of notable reserves: 
– Agulhas National Park,
– De Hoop Nature Reserve,
– Grootbos Private Nature Reserve,
– Heuningberg Nature Reserve, and
– Salmonsdam Nature Reserve. 

There are also many conservancies across the area, participating in wonderful alien-clearing initiatives. 

4.

The Southern Overberg has a dedicated CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers) group who has most notably raised substantial funds to preserve pristine Renosterveld outside Napier and rediscovered lost species such as Erica recurvata! 

Contact the Branch Chair

Willemina Vd Harst De Wet

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Contact your branch to network in the following areas:

ALBANY

Free State

Limpopo

Southern Overberg

Algoa

Garden Route

KZN Coastal

Winelands

Cederberg

Gauteng

KZN Inland

Weskus

Kogelberg

Lowveld

Kirstenbosch

Hours

Open Monday to Friday 10h00 to 14h00. Closed on weekends and public holidays.

December holidays:  Office will be closed from the 25th December and reopen 1st working day of the new year

Contact Us

We are experiencing intermittent faults with our landlines. If you can't get through on our landline (021 797 2090), please phone or send a message to our alternate WhatsApp number: +27 65 922 6163.

 

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