The Darling Wildflower Society has been around now for more than a century and the Society’s Show takes place annually over the third weekend in September. It celebrates an integral part of the Cape Fynbos Kingdom comprising of Renosterveld, Rietveld, Sandveld, and Strandveld where more than 1200 different species of flowers can be found.
The Darling Wildflower Society has held a show virtually every year since that first show in 1917. The ideals expressed by the founders still hold true today. They wanted to display Darling’s God-given wealth for the world to see. At the same time they promoted the conservation of flowers amongst the farmers of the district, who have since maintained the botanical diversity of the region over several generations.
The West Coast flower region, an integral part of the Cape Fynbos Kingdom, boasts more than 1200 species of flowering plants. About 80 of these are endemic to the West Coast and known nowhere else. The rich flora of the West Coast occurs on mainly three different soil types, culminating in three distinctive vegetation types, namely, Strandveld, Renosterveld and Sandveld. Darling lies within the Cape West Coast Biosphere reserve in the centre of the threatened lowland sandplain and renosterveld fynbos.
Darling’s veld is unique in that it consists of an intermingling of various veld types. This situation is found nowhere else in the world. The Cape Floral Kingdom, with more than 12 000 species, is also the richest in species diversity. It is astounding that Darling contains more than 10% of the species count of the Cape Floral Kingdom in less than 1% of the area. If there was ever a “Golden Mile” of the plant kingdom anywhere in the world, it must surely exist in Darling. If there was ever a “Most Threatened” area in the world, likewise.