Fynbos plants are readily recognised by the sclerophyllous (hard, tough and
leathery leaved) and microphyllous (small leaved) nature of almost all woody
plants and is characterised by having more than 5% cover of Cape reeds.
Additionally, it contains proteas, ericas and members of seven plant families
found nowhere else in the world. True grasses are also relatively rare. Most
of the plants have small, thin leaves, typically defined as ericoid leaves.
The word fynbos comes from the Dutch for fine-leaved plants. Fynbos plants
include the King Protea, South Africa's national flower, the beautiful Red
Disa, symbol of the Cape Province and the popular garden plants,
pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums.