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General Meeting "South Africa's Wonders"

California Native Plant Society
Event organized by California Native Plant Society

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General Meeting
"South Africa's Wonders"


The country of South Africa is a botanical treasure house. It is 12.4% the size of the United States but has 22% more plant species. These 20,456 species are 6% of all the world’s plants. Its Mediterranean climate zone around Cape Town is 19% the size of California but has 4.4 times as many endemic species despite having no high mountains, forests, or deserts.

In September and October of 2017, Glen Holstein and Sue Torguson did a self-guided 4,000-mile road trip tour of South Africa’s many wonders on which Sue drove and Glen navigated. 240 bird and more than 73 other animal species were identified and often photographed. Identifying plants was more challenging since they are so diverse. Therefore, their strategy was to photograph them for identification upon their return home.

Glen received his PhD in botany with an emphasis on biogeography at UC Davis. After retiring from a consulting career, he now works nearly full time on conservation issues. He is CNPS Sacramento Valley Chapter’s Botanist and Chapter Council Delegate. His recent projects have included work on creation of Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument and conservation plans for Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Sue is retired from UC Davis with a great passion for nature’s beauty that she expresses through, travel, photography, and art.