The Botanical Society of South Africa was established in 1913, the same year
that the now world famous Kirstenbosch Garden National Botanical Garden was
started. The land for the garden was granted by the Government on condition
that an appropriate organization was formed from civil society to support
its development. The Botanical Society continues to faithfully fulfill this
agreement and has also extended this support to the other seven National
Botanical Gardens around the South Africa. Soon after, the society became
involved in flora conservation and education. The first issue of the
society’s journal came out under the name of the Journal of the Botanical
Society in 1914 and changed to the quarterly new look Veld & Flora in 1975.
The journal carries a wide variety of articles on the National Botanical
Gardens, indigenous gardening, flora conservation, natural history and
The first Flora Conservation Committee was established in 1939 but the
Society had always been involved in conservation. One of the early
achievements (1922) was the successful lobby for the upper slopes of the
mountain above Kirstenbosch to be declared a nature reserve. The
conservation effort of the Society focuses on in situ plant conservation and
is achieved through awareness campaigns, projects, monitoring and lobbying.
In the late 1970’s the Flora Conservation Committee decided to undertake the
publication of regional field guides as part of the Society’s mission of
educating the public. The first was produced in 1981 and to date eleven
publications have been produced with sales exceeding the 100 000 mark.