The plants of this region are famous for their diversity of flowers and forms. The range of microhabitats created by topography and climate fosters this plant diversity. Many species are found no where else in the world.
Our collection is especially rich in mediterranean-climate flora of the Cape region. We feature the karoo and fynbos plant communities as well as plants of the Eastern Cape region. Some adaptations found in these communities include water and nutrient storage, such as succulent leaves and carbohydrate-rich bulbs.
Plants from the Cape region are well-suited to conditions in California gardens and have become popular in horticulture. A large number are of ethnobotanical importance. Demand for medicinal plants from the wild threaten many species with extinction.
The Cape region and California are two of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The Cape region contains more than 2½ times the number of species in 1/3 of the area.