Indigenous vascular plants of the Soutpansberg, South Africa
Keywords:floristic diversity, flora, vegetation, biodiversity, biosphere reserve, Centre of Endemism, Centre of floristic diversity
Background: The first checklist for the Soutpansberg was published in 1946, and the second list was compiled by the author in 2006 as part of his doctoral thesis. Currently, there is a need for an updated account of the biodiversity of the Soutpansberg Centre of Endemism and Diversity for conservation planning in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, within which the Soutpansberg is the principle geomorphological feature.
Objectives: To present an updated list of vascular plants recorded for the Soutpansberg.
Method: The list was compiled from various sources including literature reviews, herbarium specimens, herbarium databases and personal observations.
Results: This article presents the most geographically accurate and taxonomically updated list of the indigenous vascular flora of the Soutpansberg, the northernmost mountain range of South Africa. Altogether 2443 taxa are recorded belonging to 922 genera in 187 families and 64 orders.
Conclusion: The list presented in this article confirms the status of the Soutpansberg as a centre of floristic diversity in southern Africa. Notable is the higher-order diversity of the flora. It is likely that both future surveys and reviews of herbarium collections will add new taxa to the current total.