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South African Plants – the Flora of the Capensis

Africa, Australia, South America and the Antarctic once formed the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, which gradually broke up over millions of years during the Mesozoic Era. Approximately 220 million years ago, the separation was complete. To this day, distribution patterns of plant families still reflect the geography of the former continent. South African plants are closely related to the flora of Australia, for instance. The Cape is home to an extremely rich variety of plants, and 70 per cent of them are endemic, meaning that they do not exist anywhere else on the planet.

Since 2008, the remarkable collection has been on display in the newly built South Africa House. Among its most interesting botanical specimens are cycads, species from the yellow-wood family (Podocarpaceae) and proteas (Proteaceae).

The biosphere is composed of seven floristic kingdoms: the Oceanic Kingdom, the Holarctic Kingdom, the Neotropical Kingdom, the Paleotropical Kingdom, the Australian Kingdom, the Antarctic Kingdom and the South African Kingdom. The latter is the smallest of the kingdoms and the only one that is limited to a single country.

Founder: Prof. Dr. W. Stubbe († 2008)

Year of foundation: 1979

Number of taxa/accessions: about 100/about 130 


  • Public display collection
  • Conservation of species


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