Cederberg, Clanwilliam & Biedouw Valley

Riaan de Villiers, Gretel van Rooyen & Hester Steyn
Botanical Society of South Africa
Year published: 

This is the 10th field guide in the Strelitzia South African Wild Flower Guide series. This guide covers one of the most frequently visited wilderness areas of the Cape, the Cedarberg area. Named after the cedar trees that are threatened with extinction due to climate change, Widdringtonia cedarbergensis,  the northern boundary includes the Matzikamma mountains and the Citrusdal-Ceres road to the south. The mountain range is approxiimately 90km long and 25km wide and includes the mountains of the Sneeuberg (2028m), Sneeukop (1932m), Tafelberg (1971m) and Groot Krakadouw (1737). This guide also covers the lowlands. Being a recent field guide, it has a comprehensive introduction to the climate, geology, history, land-use, tourist-attractions, conservation and vegetation. It illustrates 473 species of the estimated 2000 species fro the area. In the Cedarberg Mountain Catchment area alone, 1778 species have been recorded in a study by Hilton-Taylor.

The photographs are well-composed and larger than many field-guides, with only 4 portrait photographs to a page. Despite lacking many of the features of other modern guides including distribution maps and etymologies, the descriptions of plants hit a sweet spot and include common names and habitat descriptions and occasionally medicinal uses. The book is available from the Kirstenbosch Book Shop.