Included here is the area named after the Nama (the plural being Namaqua), which is the name of the Khoikhoi people that lived here at the time of the first white settlement. It forms a narrow deeply dissected escarpment of inland Namibia that gradually widens in a southerly direction to eventually develop into an extensive plateau south of Windhoek. The Orange River divides the region into Great Namaqualand (in Namibia) and Little Namaqualand (in the Northern Cape). The southern border extends for a few kilometres south of the Orange River and stretches between Vioolsdrif in the west to Upington in the east. To the west of the town of Windhoek it includes the Hochland Plateau that varies from rugged in the north (with broad valleys and inselbergs) to a flat and stony plateau dissected by deep valleys in the south. Also included is the Brandberg one of Namibia’s highest mountains while other mountains such as the Baynes, Erongo, Naukluft, Spitzkoppe and the Gamsberg lie along the escarpment edge.

Namalandian Commiphora gracilifrondosa Scrub

In the Augrabies Falls National Park in southern Namaland Commiphora gracilifrondosa shrublands occur on the outcrops of quartz-rich granulites. These black granulite outcrops or hills are usually steep and strewn with large boulders and the black surfaces can get very hot in the sunshine. Soil is largely restricted to cracks and crevices and usually comprises much sand and gravel. The shrubs range in size from 1-3 m and have a very open appearance rarely exceed land cover values of 5%. Characteristic field layer forbs include Sutera ramossissima and the endemic or near endemic Abutilon pycnodon (Malvaceae). Other important components depending the degree of slope may include Rhuz populifolia and the endemic or near endemic Abutilon pycnodon (Malvaceae), Adenolobus gariepina (Fabaceae), Cleome angustifolia subsp. diandra (Cleomaceae), Euphorbia glanduligera (Euphorbiaceae) and Trichodesma africana (Boraginaceae).  Additional speciesthat may be encountered are Sisyndite sparteaand the endemic or near endemic Berkheya chamaepeuce (Asteraceae), Boerhavia repens (Nyctaginaceae), Cleome oxyphylla (Cleomaceae), Cucumis dinteri (Cucurbitaceae)and Curroria decidua (Apocynaceae).

Namalandian Ceraria namaquensis Scrub

This is an open, succulent shrub formation characteristic of the smooth; almost dome shaped outcrops of pink gneiss virtually devoid of soil in the south of the BioProvince. The largest of these domes in the Augrabies Falls National Park is locally known as Moon Rock. Most of the vegetation is rooted in narrow cracks or in shallow soil, and because of poor water retention the plants are exposed to long periods of extreme draught. The dominant species, Ceraria namaquensis (Portulacaceae), is an odd-looking, succulent shrub that can grow to heights of up to 2 m. It also occurs in Richtersveld with other succulents.  Another conspicuous feature is open tufts of the endemic or near endemic grass Panicum arbusculum (Poaceae). Other typical species include Indigofera pungens, Monechma spartioides, and the endemic or near endemic Codon royeni (family?), Hermannia spinosa (Sterculiaceae), Indigofera heterotricha (Fabaceae), Enneapogon scaber, Schmidtia kalihariensis and Stipagrostis uniplumis (Poaceae).

Namalandian Indigofera-Zygophyllum Scrub

Largely confined to the pink gneiss zone in the south of Namaland this shrub community dominated by Zygophyllum suffruticosum and the endemic or near endemic Indigofera heterotricha (Fabaceae) occurs on rocky outcrops, rocky plains and sandy drainage lines (washes). It is very open with no more than about 15% land cover. Small trees such as Aloe dichotoma, Boscia albitrunca and Pappea capensis may also be present, but the community is mainly characterised by xeromorphic shrubs and dwarf shrubs such as Acacia mellifera, Boscia foetida, Polygala leptopylla, Rhychosia tottia and the endemic or near endemic Hermannia stricta (Sterculiaceae), Limeum dinteri (Aizoaceae) and Sericocoma avolans (Amaranthaceae) many of which are spiny. Succulents, like Euphorbia rhombifolia, Sacocaulon pattersonii and Sarcostemma viminalis are also common together with grasses such as Aristida congesta subsp. barbicallis and Stipagrostis anomala.  A large number of other species may be encountered depending on habitat such as Aptosimum spinescens, Aristida congesta, Boscia albitrunca Enneapogon desvauxii, Hibiscus elliotiae Monechma spartioides, Triraphis ramosissima and the endemic or near endemic Barleria rigida, Blepharis mitrata, (Acanthaceae), Euphorbia gregaria (Euphorbiaceae) and Zygophyllum dregeanum (Zygophyllaceae).

Namalandian Antherothamnus pearsonii Scrub

This community, dominated by the shrub Antherothamnus pearsonii, is typically found in protected ravines and gorges in the pink gneiss zone of southern Namaland. These contain well-drained, loamy sand with varying amounts of gravel. Shrubs range in height from 1-4 m and have a land cover value of up to 15%. The undergrowth is largely composed of dwarf shrubs. Shrubs and dwarf shrubs characteristically include Barleria lancifolia and the endemic or near endemic Ozorea namaensis (family?) and Stachys burchelliana (Lamiaceae).  Other associated species include Monechma spartioides, Peliostomum leucorrhizum, Rhus populifolia, Triraphis ramosissima and the endemic or near endemic Aptosimum leucorrhizum subsp. junceum (Scrophulariaceae), Berkheya spinosissima var. namaensis (Asteraceae), Enneapogon scaber (Poaceae), Forsskohlea candida (Urticaceae), Hermannia minutiflora (Sterculiaceae) and Indigofera heterotricha (Fabaceae).

Namalandian Acacia mellifera Open Scrub

These shrublands are associated with the freely draining usually base-rich soils found, for example, on the undulating, rocky plains in the southern part of the Augrabies Falls National Park. Other characteristic species include the succulent Zygophyllum suffruticosum and the endemic or near endemic shrubs Hermannia stricta (Sterculiaceae) and Phaeoptilum spinosum (Nyctaginaceae). Much of the vegetation on the rocky plain is also typified by Euphorbia rectirama. The most important tree is Pappea capensis, which together with several other species can form a tree stratum up to about 3.9 m high. The shrub layer is about 2.4 m high and largely dominated by Acacia mellifera subsp. detinens. Typical herbaceous species include the forbs Monechma spartioides and Zygophyllum microphyllum, and the grasses Enneapogon scaber and Stipagrostis uniplumis. On Klass Island, which is associated with the undulating rocky plain, the succulent creeper Sarcostemma viminale becomes an important component of the formation.

Namalandian Lycium prunus-spinosa-Lycium austrinum Riverine Scrub

Fine sand and silt deposits cover large riverside areas of the Orange River but the moisture levels away from the river are insufficient for tree development. Instead riverine shrublands have developed dominated by Lycium austrinum and the endemic or near endemic Lycium prunus-spinosa (Solanaceae). Most of the shrubs range in size from 1-1.5 m but emergents of Lycium austrinum can reach 3 m. The undergrowth is very sparse rarely exceeding more than about 10% land cover. Characteristic species include Tribulus terrestris and the endemic or near endemic Trianthema triquetra subsp. parviflora (Aizoaceae) and various endemic or near endemic grasses such as Eragrostis annulata, E. echinochloidea, E. porosa and Schmidtia kalahariensis (Poaceae).

Namalandian Schotia afra Scrub

This vegetation is typical of the dry, rocky river margins in the Augrabies Falls area including the Orange River Gorge where it often forms a dense scrub. The rocks, which usually include huge boulders, are mainly pink gneiss but also include granulite. Schotia afra can grow to heights of up to 6 m to form small trees. Few other species are abundant but grasses such as Triraphis ramossissima and the endemic Enneopogon scaber and Stipagrostis uniplumis (Poaceae) are fairly frequent. Other species may include Aptosimum spinescens, Cenchrus cilaris, Microloma incanum and the endemic or near endemic Phaeoptilum spinosum (Nyctaginaceae)and Thesium lacinulatum (Santalaceae).

Namalandian Enneapogon-Euphorbia Succulent Shrub Savanna

This vegetation characterized by the endemic or near endemic succulent shrub Euphorbia gregeria and the endemic or near endemic grass Enneapogon scaber, appears to be mostly confined to deeper soils on the gentle slopes between the quartz-rich granulite and the pink gneiss in southern Namaland. The vegetation cover is relatively high (about 40%) with the round succulent shrubs of Euphorbia gregaria being particularly conspicuous. Between the shrubs white tufts of Enneapogon scaber is the dominant feature. The grass Eragrostis nindensis, with its dessication-tolerant leaves, is also common. Other characteristic species include annuals such as Osteospermum amplectans and the endemic or near endemic Chascanum gariepina (Verbenaceae), Cleome angustifolia subsp. diandra (Cleomaceae) and the endemic or near endemic perennial forbs Phyllanthus maderaspatentis (Phyllanthaceae) and Tephrosia dregeana (Fabaceae). Like Enneapogon scaber all the grasses have short periods of physiological activity after the rains but then survive as bleached tufts during the dry season. Other species that may be encountered include Aristida curvata, Limeum aethiopicum, Lotononis platycarpa, Oropetium capensis, Salsola tuberculata and the endemic or near endemic Rhigozum trichotomum (Bignoniaceae) and Tetragonia arbusculoides (Aizoaceae).

Namalandian Sisyndite spartea Scrub

In a few places, close for example to the Augrabies Falls, weathered gneiss rock in drainage zones support open shrublands dominated by Sisyndite spartea. These areas tend to be flooded briefly after every rainstorm and vegetation cover can be up to 60 % or more. Shrubs can reach heights of 2 m or so and there is usually a sparse under storey of species such as Enneapogon brachystachyus, Pappea capensis and various endemics or near endemics like Blepharis mitrata (Acanthaceae), Eragrostis porosa (Poaceae), Forsskaolea candida (Urticaceae) and Zygophyllum dregeanum (Zygophyllaceae).

Namalandian Combretum-Hirpicium southern Grootberg Scrub

In Damaraland’s southern Grootberg the shrublands are characterized by the small tree Combretum apiculatum and the undergrowth herb Hirpicium gazanoides. The grass Anthephora schinzii is also common. Average tree height is about 2 m while shrubs average about 1 m. Here the only Namibian endemic recorded is Lantana dinteri (Verbenaceae).


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