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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
There are three families in the Proteales and all are encountered in southern
Africa, but only the Proteaceae is indigenous. Of the 85 genera and 1710 species
worldwide, 14 genera and 361
species are native to southern Africa, mainly in fynbos. In addition, two genera
and four species have become naturalised, and an additional 15 genera and 53
species are cultivated in the region.
Families encountered in southern Africa
Nelumbonaceae (lotus flowers)
Family of water plants with rhizomes, found along the
margins of pools in Asia, northern Australia and eastern North
America. There is one genus, Nelumbo, with two species.
Nelumbo lutea (American Lotus, Water Chinquapin, Yanquapin) is native to
North America. Nelumbo nucifera (Sacred Lotus) is native to Asia (Iran
to Japan) and northern Australia, and is cultivated in southern Africa.
Platanaceae (Plane tree family)
One genus (Platanus) and 10 species (north temperate
regions), none of which are native to southern Africa. However, four species
and one hybrid are cultivated in the region. In particular,
Platanus x hispanica
(London plane) is a common street tree and is also grown in gardens.
Proteaceae (protea family)
Worldwide there are about 80 genera and 1600 species. The
highest diversity is in Australia (800+ species), followed by Africa (c 400
species) and then South America (about 90 species). Proteaceae are also native
to Madagascar, SE Asia, New Guinea, New Calidonia and New Zealand. A total of 14
genera and 361 species are native to southern Africa, mainly in fynbos. In
addition, two genera and six species have become naturalised, and an additional
13 genera and 49 species are cultivated in the region.