A new species of Fynbos has been discovered in Plettenberg Bay – it is from the family Fabaceae and has been called Psoralea vanberkelae after plant expert Nicky van Berkel.
Fynbos, if you have never heard of it, grows only along a 100-to-200-km-wide coastal belt stretching from around Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The Cape Floral Kingdom, of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms, is by far the smallest and most diverse making it a true South African botanical treasure. As an example – Table Mountain alone supports 2200 species, more than the entire United Kingdom.
The Robberg Coastal Corridor, where the new species was found, is a small strip of land between Robberg Peninsula and the Harverville Forest area and the discovery of Psoralea vanberkelae illustrates just how vital it is to conserve the Fynbos region. The discovery was announced last week by Chris von Christierson, chairman of the Robberg Coastal Corridor Landowners Association and verified by UK-based Professor Charles Stirton, an Honorary Research Associate from the Botany Department at UCT, who visited the site specially to study the plant.
Our local Fynbos areas in Plett are rich with variety and it is not uncommon to see wild proteas and pin cushion proteas growing along the coastal greenbelt. Our favourite spots for enjoying the Fynbos are the Robberg Peninsula and the Kranshoek Coastal Walk – which is also home to Plett’s first permanent Land Art feature.
If you are a hiking enthusiast – you might consider the Eden to Addo Corridor Hike, multi-day hikes which trace the ancient paths of the local elephants.