Sandwiched in between the luxurious suburban homes of Spanish Farm, Somerset West, is a small protected 4.9 ha sliver of land known as Silwerboom Kloof Natural Heritage Site. Proclaimed a Natural Heritage Site in 1988, this parcel of land has the unusual honour of being home to a clump of “silver trees”, aka Leucadendron argenteum, a member of the protea family and considered the largest of the cone bush species. What makes this particularly interesting is that the stunning silver tree only naturally occurs in a very small region on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, making this particular population somewhat of an anomaly – outlying and indeed, very isolated.
The trees are now unfortunately relatively old, and because it is rather difficult to get permission to carry out the controlled burns that the veld so desperately needs for propagation (the area is of course situated right in the middle of some VERY expensive real estate), its survival is not really an assured matter. Nevertheless, this spectacular piece of veld with its granite fynbos, renosterveld plant species is a thing of beauty, and the short but visually satisfying trail that winds through it makes for a pleasant, if short stroll up the kloof.
So an interesting if rather unexpected little find in the middle of Somerset West suburbia.