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Guide to the trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants of the Southern African Plant Kingdom

The Plant Kingdom
Travel Writer: EcoTravel Africa  

The Plant Kingdom (Plantae) includes all land plants: mosses, ferns, conifers, flowering plants (angiosperms), etc. -- an astounding list of more than 250,000 species. The Plant Kingdom is second in size only to the arthropoda (insects etc.).

Photographer: EcoTravel Africa 

Plants have been around for a very long time. The first plants appeared in the Ordovician, between 490 to 443 million years ago, but did not begin to resemble modern plants until the Late Silurian, about 420 million years ago. By the close of the Devonian, about 360 million years ago, there were a wide variety of shapes and sizes of plants around, including small creeping plants and tall forest trees.

The most striking, and important, feature of plants is their green colour, the result of a pigment called chlorophyll. Plants use chlorophyll to capture light energy, which fuels the manufacture of food -- sugar, starch, and other carbohydrates. Without these food sources, most life on earth would be impossible.


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Southern Africa has many top Game / Nature Reserves, and is home to many of the mammals of southern Africa. Numerous wildlife safari and tour companies operate guided tours to Southern Africa. Popular adventure travel activities in Southern Africa include: horse riding safaris, elephant back safaris, mountain biking, birding, wilderness walking trails, science safaris and volunteering especially for GAP year students.
Southern Africa Wildlife - Fauna & Flora
Amphibians Ecology
Birds Trees
Fishes Shrubs
Mammals Grasses
Reptiles : Snakes Herbaceous Plants
Invertebrates Fungi : Mushrooms
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