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    Selected images of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, South Africa. I plan on producing a catalog of images from Kirstenbosch with explanat… Read More
    Selected images of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, South Africa. I plan on producing a catalog of images from Kirstenbosch with explanatory text. Read Less
    Published:
Common Tree Fern, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (2011).
Kirstenbosch
Africa's Garden
[My book of photographs from Kirstenbosch has been published and can be previewed and ordered at http://bit.ly/Kirstenbosch.]

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (maintained by the South African National Biodiversity Institute in Cape Town) is one of the most important -- and most beautiful -- botanical gardens in the world. Nearly half of all plant species found in the southern half of Africa exist on one tiny sliver of land surrounding Cape Town. The Cape Floral Kingdom is home to an astonishing 6,200 species of plants found nowhere else on earth, and many of them are found in Kirstenbosch. Some are found only in Kirstenbosch, having gone extinct in the wild.

I wish I could have photographed every plant in the Gardens, but that would have been impossible, even if I had had a year in Cape Town (now there's a dream project!). My more realistic goal was to capture something of the magical beauty of this place, so that people outside of South Africa have a chance to experience it, if only in pictures.

[Thanks to Wickus Delport for his help in identifying some of the plants below.]
The Six Floral Kingdoms



Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) in Botanical Society Conservatory.
Proteaceae Leucospermum hybrid "Scarlet Ribbon."
Erica bolusiae var cyanthiformis, extinct in the wild.
Red Aloe
Yellow rocket pincushion (Leucospermum reflexum var luteum).
Benches
Red Hot Poker plants (Kniphofia spp).
Pond with Table Mountain.
View from Table Mountain.
Proteaceae flower bud.

Tree Aloe (Aloe barberae).
An enormous variety of spectacular birds are drawn to Kirstenbosch. This is an Egyptian goose, seen preening.
Cycad (Encephalartos spp.)
Cycad leaf.
Succulent flowers.
Blue flowers.
Aloe microstigma (Endemic to the Cape Floral Region).

Kirstenbosch with Table Mountain in the background.
Yellow tubular flowers.