Karoo National Park
The vegetation in the Karoo National Park falls within the Karoo-Namib bio-geographical region, with areas of the park falling into the Nama Karoo Biome..
The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands, Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands, Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands, and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients have a direct impact on gradients in vegetation. High elevation (1800m) and relatively high rainfall (406mm) montane grasslands occupy communities dominated by grasses. The increasing aridity away from the escarpment edge is steep, and Motane Karoo dwarf shrublands replace these mesic communities. At lower elevation (800m) the precipitation is very low (175mm) and uncertain.
The substrata influence the vegetation, with the sandy substrata of the drainage lines supporting more woody taxa and grasses. Moving away from the mesic environment of the riparian zone, rapid desiccation occurs and more xeric communities are encountered.
From the Greek oxys = sharp, sour or acid and (h)als = salt. The plant is frequently consumed for its sour taste caused by the oxalic acid, particularly the flowering stalks of O. pes-caprae. In large quantities the oxalic acid inhibits digestion and in stock leads to the condition 'dikpens' or bloated belly.
From the Greek ‘tricho’ / ‘thrix’ meaning ‘hair’; and the Greek ‘phyllus’ / ‘phyllon’ meaning ‘leaf’.