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Fernkloof herbarium.


By Anne Bean, former Scientific Officer, Compton Herbarium November 2004

This herbarium contains representatives of every species of plant so far recorded in the area of Hermanus in two collections, that assembled by many contributors from Fernkloof Nature Reserve mountain slopes, and a separate collection made largely by Mrs Sheila Williams, wife of Dr Ion Williams, long time botanical leader of the Hermanus region. This lowland collection must be regarded as historic and irreplaceable , so many sites being now transformed by development and the plant population totally lost.

Those plants from the Klein River mountains area being properly protected within the nature reserve, should, if the present philosophy of protection is upheld, be guaranteed a future in perpetuity.

A third collection, largely created by Dr Williams and housed at present at Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve, adds further to the knowledge of the flora of the Klein River mountains, and supplements the lists of species of the area. A gracious feature of these (first two) collections is the provision of 8x4 cards enclosed in plastic envelopes, as a public service which can be consulted by visitors as requested. This both protects the main collections and aids the curious in identifying plants they may seen growing in the vicinity.

The Fernkloof Nature Reserve is most fortunate in having such a priceless documentation of its treasures. The expert skills of past residents has created a botanical resource unequalled by any other local or regional reserve, set up according to international standards, recognised as such in international scientific publications, and already proving to be a great source of information by visitors and local people alike. The herbarium has been excellently founded and to this day is still guarded and maintained by devotees trained by Dr Williams.

The Hermanus Botanical Society is to be congratulated for the support it gives in people, building, finances, equipment such as a research microscope, and an excellent library containing all the necessary and appropriate books to continue underpinning the maintenance of this excellent collection. It is truly impressive to find a reserve served by a public which understands the essential value which a herbarium provides.

As someone who has used the herbarium for botanical work, I can only say how glad I am that it is there.

Hermanus Herbarium




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This website was last updated on
2017 / 3 / 23