Cape Region(redirected from Cape floristic region)
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a floral region in extreme southwestern Africa, mainly in the coastal area. Width, approximately 100 km. In terms of physical geographical conditions and the general nature of the vegetation, the Cape Region differs sharply from adjacent territories. The Cape Region is similar to the Mediterranean region in its moderate temperatures, wet winters (700 mm a year, with a winter maximum of 70 percent), and comparatively hot summers. Therefore, the vegetation of these two regions is also similar: thickets of sclerophyllous evergreen shrubs and undersized trees resembling maquis. More than 6, 000 species of higher plants grow in the Cape Region, of which more than half are endemic (from the families Amaryllidaceae, Iridaceae, Proteaceae, Bruniaceae, Grubbiaceae, and Penaeaceae). Most typical of the Cape Region are the families Compositae, Ericaceae, Leguminosae, Iridaceae, and Proteaceae. The flora in this area has genetic ties with tropical Africa (via the flora in the Karroo and Namib regions, which is intermediate in composition); the Mediterranean area; and a number of southern hemisphere regions, particularly the Australian region. This indicates the probability of ancient land links between these areas. Many cultivated plants of European and other origins are grown in the Cape Region. The indigenous flora of the region is the richest source of ornamental plants, many of which have become well known in Soviet floriculture (for example, the amaryllis and Kaffir lily).
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V. S. GOVORUKHIN and A. I. TOLMACHEV