It is for its fynbos – fine-leaved, shrub-like vegetation – that the southwestern and southern Cape has been named one of the world’s six plant kingdoms: the Cape Floral Kingdom. At less than 90 000 square kilometres,it is the smallest floral kingdom on earth. Yet it is home to 8 600 plant species, some 5 000 of which occur nowhere else in the world.
Fynbos is a mixture of four plant types: protea shrubs, heath-like ericas, reed-like restios and different bubous plants. The Cape Floral Kingdom contains 69 of the world’s 112 proteas, 526 of its 740 ericas and, among bubous plants, 96 of the world’s 160 gladiolus species. Table Mountain alone boasts almost 1 500 fynbos species.
With Fynbos Fairies, Antjie Krog and Fiona Moodie, both of whom regularly walk on the slopes of Table Mountain, pay homage to one of the natural wonders of the world. Inspired by Cicely Mary Barker’s A World of Flower Fairies, Antjie began the process by writing poems that each featured a plant and at least one imaginary little being.
Fiona meticulously researched the features of each plant, insect and little animal depicted in these pages. The fairies and other imaginary beings in these pages are her own creations, but the flowers and creatures she copied from nature.