Horticultural Research Programme

The aim of the research in this programme is to study the propagation and cultivation of South African plants. Special attention is given to the plants of the fynbos vegetation in the south-western Cape region of the country which has a mediterranean climate.

The sub-programme of Seed Biology aims:

1. To study the ecophysiology and germination syndromes in fynbos and in particular the pattern of germination response to the smoke cue. Research in this area has led to a paper: Patterns in the seed germination response to smoke in plants in the Cape Floristics Region, South Africa by Brown, N.A.C. et al in South African Journal of Botany 69(4) (December 2003). For a reprint pleae contact Dr Neville Brown - email address below.

The development of the smoke based seed primer.sold by Kirstenbosch was also based on this research.

2. To improve seed propagation of fynbos species with horticultural potential. Stages in the development of a database for Cape Fynbos species with horticultural potential can be seen.



DR NEVILLE BROWN. Specialist Scientist. E-mail: Main research interest is the seed biology of fynbos plants, particularly those showing a germination response to smoke.

MR PHILIP BOTHA Horticulturist, Scientific Officer.
Transferred to Kirstenbosch/Millenium Seed Bank Collections
Interests: Seed biology of fynbos plants.

Products and services

KIRSTENBOSCH "Instant Smoke Plus" SEED PRIMER This primer has been developed to aid germination of many fynbos seeds. It can be ordered from the seedroom at Kirstenbosch.

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