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South Africa

Greenhouses - House K

The flora of the southern part of Africa, which forms a flora kingdom of its own (known as "Capensis") is one of the botanically richest areas of the world. Only a very small selection can be grown in a temperate house. Shrubby species dominate the display, and important families represented here are the Proteaceae, Ericaceae, Rutaceae and Bruniaceae.

Protea obtusifolia produces its showy flower-like inflorescences in winter. Proteas are successfully grown in pots in the nursery and are only put on display when they flower. This applies also for the genus Erica and bulbous plants. Both groups have large number of species in southern Africa. Compositae like Dymondia margaretae und Haplocapha lyrata grow easily but are even more showy planted outside during the summer months. Small tree and shrub species of the Knysna forest of the southern coast area and from the eastern, more humid regions are shown in the back part of the glasshouse. Plants belonging to the genera Schotia, Tarchonanthus, Grewia, Pavonia, Rhus, and Plumbago are grown here as well as the widespread African olive tree, Olea africana. Photo: Protea.

Strelitzia reginae of the Musaceae is a tropical element growing well under the conditions here. An interesting morphologically derived form with reduced leaf lamina ecognized as a species of its own is the closely related Strelitzia juncea. On the gallery, two species of Greyia (Greyiaceae) a family endemic to S- and SE-Africa, are cultivated.

B. Leuenberger

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