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Plant Geography - America

The southernmost part of the Plant Geography section is dedicated to the plant life of North America. It displays the woods, prairies and mountains of the USA and Canada.

Four coniferous and three deciduous forest types are demonstrated with their natural species combinations:

  • Boreal coniferous and mixed forests of northern North America with Larix laricina, Pinus banksiana, Betula papyrifera.
  • Coniferous forests of the continental interior with Abies concolor, Picea pungens, Pinus ponderosa.
  • Coniferous forests of the northern Pacific with Larix occidentalis, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Thuja plicata.
  • Coniferous forests of the southern Pacific with Calocedrus decurrens, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Pinus aristata, Torreya californica.
  • Mixed forests of the Great Lakes region with Pinus strobus, Tsuga canadensis, Betula alleghaniensis, Acer spp., Quercus spp.
  • Deciduous forests of the Appalachians and up to the Mississippi (Hickory forest) with Carya spp., Juglans spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata.
  • Mixed forests of the subtropical southern Atlantic with Taxodium distichum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Magnolia virginica.

The Hickory forest borders the tall-grass prairie with Andropogon gerardii and the adjoining, drier short-grass prairie. This lays under Rhus typhina and is characterised by a wealth of Compositae, e.g. the genera Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Helianthus, Liatris, Solidago. Of the grasses, the genera Bouteloua and Buchloe are represented. In the end the Artemisia steppe is reached with its silver-grey colours. Here drought-resistant herbs are present like the perennials Artemisia ludoviciana, Chrysopsis villosa, Lupinus polyphyllus, and the annual Eschscholzia californica, growing under Shepherdia argentea. If you like, you can make a detour to a still drier garden...
Three mountain ranges are represented in the rock gardens:

  • The Appalachians (Alleghenies) of the Atlantic side.
  • The Rocky Mountains.
  • The mountains of the Californian Pacific.

Spring and autumn are the most spectacular seasons in the North America area. In springtime (April-May) the floor of the deciduous forests is decorated by colourful herbs (Dicentra, Mertensia, Erythronium). And in autumn the intensely discolouring leaves give a good impression of the "Indian Summer".

Text: W. Schwarz, modified by Th. Raus

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