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Flora - The Plant Kingdom of India

None of country in the world grows such a rich variety of vegetation as it is found in India due to the wide range of climatic conditions in India. The Indian vegetation has around 15,000 species of plants. India lies in tropical zone hence it is mainly covered with deciduous forests. According to the distribution of the flora, India can be classified into;

Himalayan Vegetation

The Himalayan belt is very rich in vegetation. The eastern region of India is covered with thick tropical forests whereas western Himalayan region is covered by conifers like pine.

Natural vegetation varies with altitude; near the snowline evergreen forests with mainly high alpine meadows are found whereas the places with lower altitude have temperate forests in them.

Northwest Himalayas grows Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) except in Kashmir. Other conifers that grow in that area include deodar, blue pine, spruce, silver fir, and junipers. Chilgoza (pine nut), oak, maple, ash (Fraxinus xanthoxyloides) grow abundantly in the Inner Himalayas. The Eastern Himalayan region grows trees like oaks, laurels, maples, rhododendrons, alder, and birch and dwarf willows.

Foothills of Himalayas are covered with deciduous trees, shrubs, fern and grass. Evergreen forests grows in the Assam region is grows lots of bamboo and tall grasses.

Tea plantation and rice fields are a pleasure to see as green patches in the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam, while mulberry trees are grown on the slopes of Himalayas.

Rain Forest of Southern India

The most lavish rain forests, lie on the southwestern coast, in Kerala where coconut trees leads the stretching rain forests of the country. Rain forests are also found in Andaman Islands and Arunachal Pradesh also. Karnataka plateau dense sandal, teak and Dalbergia sissoo forests are flourished. The dry Telengana plateau in Andhra Pradesh, is a home of thorny scrub and wild Indian date palm.

The Desert Region

The rainfall is scanty and erratic. The trees are short and stout, underdeveloped because of the scorching heat of sun and leaves are mostly reduced to spines. Apart from cacti, there are the reunjha (Acacia leucophloea), khejra (Prosopis spicigera), kanju (Holoptelia integrifolia) and ak (Calotropis gigantea). Tropical moist deciduous forests are interspersed with tropical dry deciduous trees in this region. Trees like Sal (Shorea robusta), Teak (Tectona grandis), Semul (Bombax ceiba), laurel, rosewood, mahua (Madhuca indica), amla (Emblica officinalis), khair (Acacia catechu), common bamboo, widely grows there.

Indo-Gangetic Plain

The huge Indo-Gangetic Plain, stretches from Punjab to Assam and has a rich fertile land thus it is the most intensively farmed zone of the country and the world.

Wheat is the main crop in the west, rice is widely grown in the east. Other important crops of the region are Pulses, sorghum, oilseeds, and sugarcane. Mango orchards are a common sight. Other fruits of the sub region include guavas, jackfruit, plums, lemons, oranges, and pomegranates. The soil of Terai region of Nepal is rich in silt, thus makes the plain very much suitable for farming. Primarily Rice and Wheat is grown on the Indo-Gangetic Plain in rotation. Other major crops are maize, sugarcane, and cotton. Numerous rivers arising from or passing through Himalayas provide water for irrigation.

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