Definitions for "Fynbos"
Afrikaans Scrub vegetation of the Western Cape mountain areas
Dense vegetation in the coastal and mountainous regions of South African, similar to the Californian chaparral, the Chilean matorral, the Mediterranean maquis, and the Western Australian kwongan. The most floristically diverse region in the world, this type of vegetation is made up of a much wider variety of species that the others, but primarily including Ericas, Restios, and Proteas.
The distinctive plant community found within the small (about 80,000 km²) Mediterranean-like heathlands of the Cape of South Africa. The fynbos contains over 7,700 plant species, of which about 70 percent are endemic — found nowhere else in the world. The soils are poor, so the fynbos does not support large animals, but many of the small animals are also endemic. One of the most fascinating families in the fynbos is the heath family (Ericaceae, such as blueberries or rhododendrons); there are over 600 heath species, whereas the rest of the world has only 26. Some of the fynbos species are located in extremely restricted ranges — some smaller than half a soccer field. Threats to the fynbos include development, fire, and invasive species such as the acacia trees introduced from Australia.