Volume 6, Chapter 10:- Non-pilose "pilosa"

When I was at the Karoo Garden I became a bit befuddled by the way botanists referred to the Cape Floral Kingdom.  It seemed to me that they used the term for the vegetation that was on the Table Mountain sandstones and conveniently excluded that which was not.  Thus the “Fynbos” vegetation, characterized by its Ericaceae, Proteaceae and Restionacea, was synonymous with this floral kingdom.  An official document was published at the time which purported to classify the Southern African vegetation into biomes as major floral assemblages with very broad boundaries.  It did not make sense to me because my observations were that the “fynbos”, however different in terms of historical origin, was essentially a flora of the sandstones, and that there was rather a winter rainfall biome which included karoid (Succulent Karoo mainly) flora.  The role of geological substrate and skeletal soils seemed to me to be pivotal as there are places where one can virtually take a single step from one vegetation assemblage into another.

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