In this article, we will discuss Floristic Regions of India. So, let’s get started.
Floristic Regions of India
Depending on the geo-climatic conditions, the flora of India differs from region to region and altitude to altitude. In 1937, C.C. Calder identified eight floristic regions of lndia. These floristic regions are:
1. The Eastern Himalayan Region
2. The North-Western Himalayan Region
3. The Assam Region
4. The Gangetic Plain
5. The Indus Plain
6. The Deccan Region
7. The Malabar Region
8. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Eastern Himalayan Region
Stretching over the hilly regions of Sikkim, Northern West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, this is an
undulating and mountainous region, recording over 200 cm of average annual rainfall. This
region has over 4000 species of plants which vary from tropical to temperate and Alpine. The main
trees of this floristic region are sal, oak, chestnut, magnolia, Pyrus, bamboo, silver fir, pine, birch rhododendrons, and alpine grasses.
The North-Western Himalayan Region
The Western Himalayan Floristic region stretches over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This region records relatively less rainfall and temperatures. The effect of altitude is quite visible on the vegetation of Western Himalayas. Here again, one finds the Sub-tropical (up to 1525 m), temperate (1525 m to 3650 m) and Alpine vegetation from 3650 m to 4575 m. In the sub-montane region the main vegetation is sal,semul, and savanna type. Among the temperate vegetation are chir (pine), oak, deodar, alder, birch, and conifers. At higher altitudes, trees are replaced by alpine pastures and trees like juniper , silver fir, birch, and larch are seen.
The Assam Region
The Assam region includes the whole of North-East including Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland,, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. This region is rich in various types of bamboos and palms with Nilgiri type of grasslands at higher altitudes.
The Gangetic Plain
The flora of The Gangetic plain has been substantially transtormed by human activities and cultivation of crops. The vegetation type, however, ranges between the semi-arid shrubs of the regionAravalli region to evergreen mangroves of the Sundarban Delta. Sal and Arjun of the Tarai of Bihar and West Berngal are the representative species of the primordial vegetation. The vegetation of Uittar Pradesh is mainly dry deciduous type which changes to motist deciduous type in Bihar and West Bengal. Sheesham, neem, mahuwa, jamun, acacia, ber, bel, peepal, bargad, etc, are the examples of this type of vegetation. In addition to these, there are numerous types of grasses found in The Gangetic Plain.
The Indus Plain
This floristic region spreads over Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, west of the Aravallis, Kuchchh, and north-western parts of Gujarat. In this region, the average annual rainfall is less than 75 cm. Consequently, its vegetation is of the type which can bear the arid and severe drought conditims.
Acacias, cacti, wild-palms, khejra, and palas, etc., are the main trees of this region. During the rainyseason, numerous grasses develop which wither during the dry season.
The Deccan Region
This region covers the greater parts of Peninsular India. This region has teak, tendu, sal, palm, and thorny shrubs.
The Malabar Region
This region stretches all along the western coast from the Gulf of Khambat (Cambay) to Cape Camorin (Kanniyakumari). Here the vegetation type ranges from moist tropical evergreen to broad leafed mixed and monsoon deciduous type. The Nilgiri Hills show temperate forests at higher altitudes. The region also contains several species of plants of the Malay origin.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are covered by the equatorial evergreen forests of heavy wood.