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. noun
    all the plant life in a particular region or period
    “the flora of southern California”
    synonyms: botany, vegetation
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    fauna, zoology
    all the animal life in a particular region or period
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    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
    vegetation that has grown
    bush, chaparral, scrub
    dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes
    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
    a collection of shrubs growing together
    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
    an area thickly overgrown usually with one kind of plant
    a dense growth of cane (especially giant cane)
    a copse that shelters game
    a small wooded area
    a small growth of trees without underbrush
    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
    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
  2. noun
    (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion
    synonyms: plant, plant life
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    photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae
    microscopic plants; bacteria are often considered to be microflora
    a cultivated plant that is grown commercially on a large scale
    a plant that is native to a certain limited area
    an organism that produces its own food by photosynthesis
    non-flowering plant
    a plant that does not bear flowers
    a young plant or a small plant
    a wild uncultivated plant (especially a wild apple or crabapple tree)
    any plant grown for its beauty or ornamental value
    pot plant
    a plant suitable for growing in a flowerpot (especially indoors)
    any flowerless plant such as a fern (pteridophyte) or moss (bryophyte) in which growth occurs only at the tip of the main stem
    a plant that reproduces or is reproduced by apomixis
    a plant that lives in or on water
    formerly recognized taxonomic group including all flowerless and seedless plants that reproduce by means of spores: ferns, mosses, algae, fungi
    (botany) a plant that completes its entire life cycle within the space of a year
    (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
    (botany) a plant lasting for three seasons or more
    a plant originally cultivated but now growing wild
    a plant that grows in a moist habitat
    a plant that is found in an area where it had not been recorded previously
    (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
    the spore-producing individual or phase in the life cycle of a plant having alternation of generations
    the gamete-bearing individual or phase in the life cycle of a plant having alternation of generations
    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, producer
    plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances
    plant that affords shelter or food to ants that live in symbiotic relations with it
    planktonic algae
    unicellular algae
    microscopic unicellular marine or freshwater colonial alga having cell walls impregnated with silica
    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
    the female gametophyte produced by the megaspore of a plant that produces both microspore and megaspores
    the male gametophyte produced by a microspore
    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
    any plant of the Eurasian genus Helleborus
    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
    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
    a plant of the genus Aeschynanthus having somewhat red or orange flowers and seeds having distinctive hairs at base and apex
    any plant of the genus Episcia; usually creeping and stoloniferous and of cascading habit; grown for their colorful foliage and flowers
    any of several plants of the genera Gloxinia or Sinningia (greenhouse gloxinias) having showy bell-shaped flowers
    shrubby herb cultivated for their soft velvety foliage and showy scarlet flowers
    any of various ornamental plants of the genus Plectranthus
    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
    a plant adapted to arid conditions and characterized by fleshy water-storing tissues that act as water reservoirs
    a variety of a plant developed from a natural species and maintained under cultivation
    cultivated plant
    plants that are grown for their produce
    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
    a plant with a weak stem that derives support from climbing, twining, or creeping along a surface
    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
    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
    any plant of the order Psilophytales: a savannah plant
    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
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