flora

The flora of a particular area consists of its plant species, considered as a whole. The word also refers to the plant life of a particular era — for example, fossilized plants can help us determine the flora at the time of dinosaurs.

The use of the word flora as referring to a particular area's vegetation has been used by botanists since the 1640s, but it became common with Swedish botanist Linnaeus, who in 1745 wrote "Flora Suecica," a study of the plant life of Sweden. The word was a natural fit, as Flōra was the name of the Roman goddess of flowers. When scientists study a region's flora, they classify their findings and create a descriptive list, which is also called a flora.

Definitions of flora
1

n all the plant life in a particular region or period

“the flora of southern California”
Synonyms:
botany, vegetation
Antonyms:
fauna, zoology
all the animal life in a particular region or period
Types:
show 24 types...
hide 24 types...
browse
vegetation (such as young shoots, twigs, and leaves) that is suitable for animals to eat
brush, brushwood, coppice, copse, thicket
a dense growth of bushes
growth
vegetation that has grown
bush, chaparral, scrub
dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes
stand
a growth of similar plants (usually trees) in a particular area
forest, wood, woods
the trees and other plants in a large densely wooded area
shrubbery
a collection of shrubs growing together
garden
the flowers or vegetables or fruits or herbs that are cultivated in a garden
brier, brier patch, brierpatch
tangled mass of prickly plants
ground cover, groundcover
low-growing plants planted in deep shade or on a steep slope where turf is difficult to grow
brake
an area thickly overgrown usually with one kind of plant
canebrake
a dense growth of cane (especially giant cane)
spinney
a copse that shelters game
bosk
a small wooded area
grove
a small growth of trees without underbrush
jungle
an impenetrable equatorial forest
rain forest, rainforest
a forest with heavy annual rainfall
underbrush, undergrowth, underwood
the brush (small trees and bushes and ferns etc.) growing beneath taller trees in a wood or forest
Hernaria glabra, rupturewort
common prostrate Old World herb often used as a ground cover; formerly reputed to cure ruptures
whitlowwort
any of various low-growing tufted plants of the genus Paronychia having tiny greenish flowers and usually whorled leaves; widespread throughout warm regions of both Old and New Worlds; formerly thought to cure whitlows (suppurative infections around a fingernail)
pearl-weed, pearlweed, pearlwort
any of various low-growing plants of the genus Sagina having small spherical flowers resembling pearls
Helxine soleirolia, Soleirolia soleirolii, baby tears, baby's tears
prostrate or creeping Corsican herb with moss-like small round short-stemmed leaves
old growth, virgin forest
forest or woodland having a mature or overly mature ecosystem more or less uninfluenced by human activity
second growth
a second growth of trees covering an area where the original stand was destroyed by fire or cutting
Type of:
accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
several things grouped together or considered as a whole

n (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion

Synonyms:
plant, plant life
Examples:
Yggdrasil
(Norse mythology) a huge ash tree whose roots and branches hold the earth and Heaven and Hell together
Types:
show 104 types...
hide 104 types...
phytoplankton
photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae
microflora
microscopic plants; bacteria are often considered to be microflora
crop
a cultivated plant that is grown commercially on a large scale
endemic
a plant that is native to a certain limited area
holophyte
an organism that produces its own food by photosynthesis
non-flowering plant
a plant that does not bear flowers
plantlet
a young plant or a small plant
wilding
a wild uncultivated plant (especially a wild apple or crabapple tree)
ornamental
any plant grown for its beauty or ornamental value
pot plant
a plant suitable for growing in a flowerpot (especially indoors)
acrogen
any flowerless plant such as a fern (pteridophyte) or moss (bryophyte) in which growth occurs only at the tip of the main stem
apomict
a plant that reproduces or is reproduced by apomixis
aquatic
a plant that lives in or on water
cryptogam
formerly recognized taxonomic group including all flowerless and seedless plants that reproduce by means of spores: ferns, mosses, algae, fungi
annual
(botany) a plant that completes its entire life cycle within the space of a year
biennial
(botany) a plant having a life cycle that normally takes two seasons from germination to death to complete; flowering biennials usually bloom and fruit in the second season
perennial
(botany) a plant lasting for three seasons or more
escape
a plant originally cultivated but now growing wild
hygrophyte
a plant that grows in a moist habitat
neophyte
a plant that is found in an area where it had not been recorded previously
embryo
(botany) a minute rudimentary plant contained within a seed or an archegonium
monocarp, monocarpic plant, monocarpous plant
a plant that bears fruit once and dies
sporophyte
the spore-producing individual or phase in the life cycle of a plant having alternation of generations
gametophyte
the gamete-bearing individual or phase in the life cycle of a plant having alternation of generations
houseplant
any of a variety of plants grown indoors for decorative purposes
garden plant
any of a variety of plants usually grown especially in a flower or herb garden
tracheophyte, vascular plant
green plant having a vascular system: ferns, gymnosperms, angiosperms
poisonous plant
a plant that when touched or ingested in sufficient quantity can be harmful or fatal to an organism
aerophyte, air plant, epiphyte, epiphytic plant
plant that derives moisture and nutrients from the air and rain; usually grows on another plant but not parasitic on it
rock plant
plant that grows on or among rocks or is suitable for a rock garden
autophyte, autophytic plant, autotroph, autotrophic organism
plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances
myrmecophyte
plant that affords shelter or food to ants that live in symbiotic relations with it
planktonic algae
unicellular algae
diatom
microscopic unicellular marine or freshwater colonial alga having cell walls impregnated with silica
thallophyte
any of a group of cryptogamic organisms consisting principally of a thallus and thus showing no differentiation into stem and root and leaf
nonflowering plant, pteridophyte
plants having vascular tissue and reproducing by spores
phanerogam, seed plant, spermatophyte
plant that reproduces by means of seeds not spores
wild flower, wildflower
wild or uncultivated flowering plant
megagametophyte
the female gametophyte produced by the megaspore of a plant that produces both microspore and megaspores
microgametophyte
the male gametophyte produced by a microspore
aconite
any of various usually poisonous plants of the genus Aconitum having tuberous roots and palmately lobed leaves and blue or white flowers
baneberry, cohosh, herb Christopher
a plant of the genus Actaea having acrid poisonous berries
hellebore
any plant of the Eurasian genus Helleborus
dogbane
any of several poisonous perennial plants of the genus Apocynum having acrid milky juice and bell-shaped white or pink flowers and a very bitter root
Nerium oleander, oleander, rose bay
an ornamental but poisonous flowering shrub having narrow evergreen leaves and clusters of fragrant white to pink or red flowers: native to East Indies but widely cultivated in warm regions
Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen, Japanese leaf
erect or partially climbing herb having large green or variegated leaves
anthurium, tail-flower, tailflower
any of various tropical American plants cultivated for their showy foliage and flowers
Rivina humilis, blood berry, bloodberry, rouge plant, rougeberry
bushy houseplant having white to pale pink flowers followed by racemes of scarlet berries; tropical Americas
Gynura aurantiaca, purple velvet plant, royal velvet plant, velvet plant
Javanese foliage plant grown for their handsome velvety leaves with violet-purple hairs
flowering maple
an ornamental plant of the genus Abutilon having leaves that resemble maple leaves
herb, herbaceous plant
a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
Exacum affine, Persian violet
perennial cultivated especially as a houseplant for its fragrant bluish to dark lavender flowers
Clusia insignis, waxflower
epiphytic clusia of British Guiana
halophyte
plant growing naturally in very salty soil
Gloriosa superba, climbing lily, creeping lily, gloriosa, glory lily
any plant of the genus Gloriosa of tropical Africa and Asia; a perennial herb climbing by means of tendrils at leaf tips having showy yellow to red or purple flowers; all parts are poisonous
Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, black moss, long moss, old man's beard
dense festoons of greenish-grey hairlike flexuous strands anchored to tree trunks and branches by sparse wiry roots; southeastern United States and West Indies to South America
Symphoricarpos alba, common snowberry, snowberry, waxberry
deciduous shrub of western North America having spikes of pink flowers followed by round white berries
American holly, Christmas holly
an evergreen tree
Rhus vernix, Toxicodendron vernix, poison ash, poison dogwood, poison sumac
smooth American swamp shrub with pinnate leaves and greenish flowers followed by greenish white berries; yields an irritating oil
Rhus radicans, Toxicodendron radicans, markweed, poison ivy, poison mercury, poison oak
climbing plant common in eastern and central United States with ternate leaves and greenish flowers followed by white berries; yields an irritating oil that causes a rash on contact
Rhus diversiloba, Toxicodendron diversilobum, western poison oak
poisonous shrub of the Pacific coast of North America that causes a rash on contact
Rhus quercifolia, Rhus toxicodenedron, Toxicodendron quercifolium, eastern poison oak
poisonous shrub of southeastern United States causing a rash on contact
Chinese lacquer tree, Japanese lacquer tree, Japanese sumac, Japanese varnish tree, Rhus verniciflua, Toxicodendron vernicifluum, lacquer tree, varnish tree
small Asiatic tree yielding a toxic exudate from which lacquer is obtained
aeschynanthus
a plant of the genus Aeschynanthus having somewhat red or orange flowers and seeds having distinctive hairs at base and apex
episcia
any plant of the genus Episcia; usually creeping and stoloniferous and of cascading habit; grown for their colorful foliage and flowers
gloxinia
any of several plants of the genera Gloxinia or Sinningia (greenhouse gloxinias) having showy bell-shaped flowers
kohleria
shrubby herb cultivated for their soft velvety foliage and showy scarlet flowers
plectranthus
any of various ornamental plants of the genus Plectranthus
lantana
a flowering shrub
Aethusa cynapium, fool's parsley, lesser hemlock
European weed naturalized in America that resembles parsley but causes nausea and poisoning when eaten
Cicuta verosa, water hemlock
tall erect highly poisonous Eurasiatic perennial herb locally abundant in marshy areas
spotted cowbane, spotted hemlock, spotted water hemlock
tall biennial water hemlock of northeastern North America having purple-spotted stems and clusters of extremely poisonous tuberous roots resembling small sweet potatoes
California fern, Conium maculatum, Nebraska fern, hemlock, poison hemlock, poison parsley, winter fern
large branching biennial herb native to Eurasia and Africa and adventive in North America having large fernlike leaves and white flowers; usually found in damp habitats; all parts extremely poisonous
Eryngium yuccifolium, button snakeroot, rattlesnake master, rattlesnake's master
coarse prickly perennial eryngo of United States thought to cure rattlesnake bite
Oenanthe crocata, hemlock water dropwort, water dropwort
European poisonous herb having tuberous roots, yellow juice that stains the skin, yellow flowers and foliage resembling celery; all parts extremely poisonous
Oenanthe aquatica, water fennel
European poisonous herb with fibrous roots
bedder, bedding plant
an ornamental plant suitable for planting in a flowerbed
succulent
a plant adapted to arid conditions and characterized by fleshy water-storing tissues that act as water reservoirs
cultivar
a variety of a plant developed from a natural species and maintained under cultivation
cultivated plant
plants that are grown for their produce
weed
any plant that crowds out cultivated plants
cash crop
a readily salable crop that is grown and gathered for the market (as vegetables or cotton or tobacco)
catch crop
a crop that grows quickly (e.g. lettuce) and can be planted between two regular crops grown in successive seasons or between two rows of crops in the same season
cover crop
crop planted to prevent soil erosion and provide green manure
field crop
a crop (other than fruits or vegetables) that is grown for agricultural purposes
evergreen, evergreen plant
a plant having foliage that persists and remains green throughout the year
deciduous plant
a plant having foliage that is shed annually at the end of the growing season
vine
a plant with a weak stem that derives support from climbing, twining, or creeping along a surface
creeper
any plant (as ivy or periwinkle) that grows by creeping
ligneous plant, woody plant
a plant having hard lignified tissues or woody parts especially stems
geophyte
a perennial plant that propagates by underground bulbs or tubers or corms
desert plant, xerophile, xerophilous plant, xerophyte, xerophytic plant
plant adapted for life with a limited supply of water; compare hydrophyte and mesophyte
mesophyte, mesophytic plant
land plant growing in surroundings having an average supply of water; compare xerophyte and hydrophyte
aquatic plant, hydrophyte, hydrophytic plant, water plant
a plant that grows partly or wholly in water whether rooted in the mud, as a lotus, or floating without anchorage, as the water hyacinth
hemiepiphyte, semiepiphyte
a plant that is an epiphyte for part of its life
strangler, strangler tree
an epiphytic vine or tree whose aerial roots extend down the trunk of a supporting tree and coalesce around it eventually strangling the tree
lithophyte, lithophytic plant
plant that grows on rocks or stony soil and derives nourishment from the atmosphere
rupestral plant, rupestrine plant, rupicolous plant, saxicolous plant
plants growing among rocks
root crop
crop grown for its enlarged roots: e.g. beets; potatoes; turnips
tuberous plant
plant growing from a tuber
bulbous plant
plant growing from a bulb
cormous plant
plant growing from a corm
psilophyte
any plant of the order Psilophytales: a savannah plant
psilophyton
any plant or fossil of the genus Psilophyton
Type of:
being, organism
a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.