CAPE FLORAL KINGDOM
Global demand spurs sustainable fynbos harvesting
Many species of fynbos have been exported for decades but some of them are trending in Europe, Asia, Russia and other global markets
Silver brunia, a plant with perfectly shaped silver-green baubles that is endemic to the Cape Floral Kingdom, has been dubbed "white gold" because of escalating demand in the East. It is helping to focus attention on the more than 9,000 indigenous plant species in the Cape. Broadly known as fynbos, many species have been exported for decades but some of them, such as the king protea, protea compacta and silver brunia, are trending in Europe, Asia, Russia and other global markets. They have unusual aesthetic appeal and last longer than other flowers. The Cape Floral Kingdom, also known as the Cape Floristic Region, covers an area of 90,000km², mainly in the Western Cape but also parts of the Eastern Cape as far as Port Elizabeth. Of the 9,000 species, 6,000 are endemic to the region, which is the smallest and richest floral kingdom in the world — surpassing many tropical forest regions in its diversity. Cape Flora SA statistics indicate that in 2016-17, about 1,7-million stems of sil...