Plants of the Klein Karoo

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:16:52 PDT

We are collectors of plant books and I'd like to recommend a recently 
published field guide for South Africa, Plants of the Klein Karoo by 
Jan Vlok and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok. I think we have all of the 
Kirstenbosch wild flower guides so you might wonder why we would need 
another field guide.  We've been to the Little Karoo twice and once 
when in Montagu we talked to someone who told us rain was such a rare 
event, that when it did rain, everyone rushed outside to see it. 
Living in an area where there is a lot of rainfall in winter, 
especially true this year, I'm unlikely to be able to grow most of 
the plants featured in this book even if seeds were available. Still 
I'm thoroughly enjoying looking at it.

The book has 568 pages and also comes with a CD with 2021 photographs 
of 1500 species. It is clearly written and has a good section 
describing the many habitats of this area. The descriptions of the 
plants give you a clear idea of what they look like, when they bloom, 
and where they bloom. The photographs are beautiful. And it has a 
combined index, not two indexes like some of the other guides. The 
authors obviously love where they live and know the plants in their 
area. Pages 45-143 include monocots members of this group might be 
interested in. There are many pages of Pelargoniums, but probably a 
lot of them are not geophytes. I think it is a good model for what a 
field guide should be although it is a bit heavy if you wanted to add 
it to your pack. We ordered this book from Silverhill Seeds and Books 
and it cost $39, but surface mail was an extra $27.50. If you are 
interested in this book and going to the IBSA Symposium in August you 
could order it in advance and save on the shipping.

I never would have known there were so many treasures in this area. 
Some of them have extended ranges so plants pictured you might find 
in other areas too.

Mary Sue

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