Included here is the coastal belt and escarpment mountains south of the Namib. It forms a wedge of rugged country between the Namid and Namaland zones stretching from the Richterveld northwards to the vicinity of Aus. The so-called Little Karoo lying between the Cape mountain ridges, the Langeberg, and the Swartberg ranges, is also included in this zone.

Western Cape Lichen Fields

One of the most spectacular veld types of this BioProvince is the magnificent lichen field of Alexander Bay in Namaqualand. This coastal, fog-drenched area composed of fine gypsum clay, has the highest cover, density and diversity of lichens in the world. It covers an area of some 50 ha and has 29 species such as Teloschistes capensi. There are also about 40 higher plants, which are mainly embedded succulents such as the endemic Euphorbia stepelioides (Euphorbiaceae), Fenestraria rhopalophyllum and Lythops herrei (Aizoaceae). In fact, most of the higher plants are endemic to northwestern Namaqualand.


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