Botanical gardens are living collections of plants which are used for education, scientific research, interpretation of indigenous knowledge through horticultural displays and play a vital role in biodiversity conservation. The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is one of a network of nine National Botanical Gardens administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute which also administers plant reference herbaria, environmental education and research facilities.
The garden is located in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve which boasts 1650 plant species listed which is one of the most diverse Fynbos hotspots in the Cape Floral Kingdom of approximately 8 800 plant species in an area of about 90 000 km'2, in the South Western Cape.
Fynbos is characterised by shrubby plants with fine, hard leaves and includes plants such as proteas, ericas. (cape heaths), buchus. legumes, brunias, daisies, bulbous plants and reed like restios in place of grasses.
The King protea (Protea cynaroides), the Sugarbush (Protea repens). Prince of Whales heath (Erica perspicua) and the Thatching reed (Thamnochortus inslgnis) can be seen in the Garden amongst many others.