Zandvlei Trust

Botany Group

1. Introduction

The Fynbos Kingdom has +/- 9000 species of plants. Of these 69% are endemic (occur no where else). There are +/- 2500 plant species on the Cape Peninsula. At Zandvlei there are 400+ species.


The Fynbos is generally split into tires from an altitude aspect and one of the lowest is the Pioneer Asteraceous Strandveld, which prevails at the Zandvlei Estuary area (a highly impacted area in terms of urbanization).
The estuary area is characterised by Chrysanthermoides, Carpobrotus and various annual plants such as Amaryllidaceae, Iridaceae and Orchidaceae. The biotic interdependence of this sphere is critical and every measure is being taken by Conservation Management to further the link with flora and fauna species in order to facilitate this.

Biotic interaction

This type of fynbos vegetation is not reliant on fire for rejuvenation but relies on biotic interaction. Birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, as well as wind, and to some extent water are responsible for pollination and seed dispersal.

Primary aim of the Botany Group

They have endevoured to collect a meaningful library of speciemens in order to create an Herbarium at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve, which can be used by both the primary and tertiary learners. They have generated a scientific database of the plants in the Zandvlei Estauary area since 2001. Prof Timm Hoffman and Terry Trinder-Smith at the Bolus Herbarium, UCT Dept of Botany have trained this group to collect with a permit, identify and press plant and flower samples in a scientific manner. The reference material may be used in future scientific work.

(The above is an extract from the CD by Steve Davis, - see below.)

Activities to date

The group have generated a scientific database with more than 400 species. They have collected samples, verified them against the reference material, pressed the roots, stems, leaves, flowers and labelled them. They have many photographs as well.
They have generated 2 catalogues of pressings;

  • one for general use in the Education Centre by students and adults
  • a reference body for professional use, by appointment at the Bolus Herbarium.

The work has no end, as plants are seasonal, cyclic and there are a number of areas which have not been covered in all the seasons over a long enough period, to be sure all are found and identified.

Official opening   updated 09/08/2011

The Official Opening took place on 20th July 2011 with a talk by Professor Timm Hoffman for all interested, followed by a public viewing at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve on 23rd July 2011.

The 2 cabinets with the catagorised pressings on display at the Open Day.

Pat and Els looking at a sample pressing.

The handing over of the cabinets to the Zandvlei Nature Reserve Management.
Cassy Sheasby, Mark Arendse, Els Doratt Haaksma, Robin and Pat Burnett.

Species list

See the list of species with photos identified and documented to date.


photograph by Steve Davis

The Botany group working in the road reserve during 2004, doing field research.

Reports (Click to read them)

photograph by Steve Davis

Robin, Pat and Els at Niewoudtville studying the plants there, to be able to understand more about the plants at Zandvlei.


Additional help required.

  • We need more people to actively participate at various locations around Zandvlei and on the mountain side.

  • Come and join this interesting and fun project.

Contact Robin and Patrica Burnett 

photograph by Steve Davis

Carol Duckitt explaining the herbarium protocol at Rondeberg Nature Reseve
on the West Coast, when the group paid a visit.


2. The Plants of Zandvlei was produced by Steve Davis on a CD .


3. Books

Els Dorrat is the author together with                           May 2007 - The group were donated 2 copies of this
Peter Linder. This is fine fieldguide on                         
new revised book by the Botanical Society. We are
the Restios of the Fynbos area. Contact her                
very greatful, and these will be very useful on
for enquiries                              
outings, especially with new members to the group.


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