Irma Booysen - 64 Hectares
The Irma Booysen Flora Reserve comprises the broad area between the main road leading into Cape St Francis (R330) and the village itself. It can be accessed from within the village from Hope Crescent, Da Gama Str (at the Tennis courts), the end of Birkenhead Rd, Diaz Crescent and Osprey Rd.
The reserve is a mix of fynbos & thicket vegetation. Fynbos is the term given to the vegetation typical of the Southwestern Cape, where wet winter rains and hot, dry summers occur. The term ‘fyn’ denotes the fine structure of the leaves of most fynbos plants. The fynbos in our region is called dune fynbos and is particularly rich in species. Many are endemic (occur nowhere else) to our local region. Unfortunately, it is highly fragile and easily destroyed or altered by human activities.
Thicket differs fundamentally from fynbos in all respects. Unlike fynbos, thicket plants are not adapted to benefit from fire. Thicket is most common in areas that are relatively fire-free, such as deep kloofs, rocky outcrops and along the coast where fires can only spread from inland areas. Thicket plants are more nutritious than fynbos shrubs to browsing animals such as bushbuck. Therefore, many thicket shrubs are armed with vicious spines that slow down the rate at which their leaves and stems are eaten.