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Simplified schematic of an island's flora - all its plant species, highlighted in boxes.
In botany, flora (plural: floras or florae) has two meanings: a flora (with a lower case 'f') refers to the plant life occurring in a particular region, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous plant life, while a Flora (with a capital 'F') refers to a book or other work describing a flora and including aids for the identification of the plants it contains such as botanical keys and line drawings that illustrate the characters that distinguish the different plants. Floristics is the study of floras, including the preparation of Floras.
The goddess Flora is one of the three goddess offices held in the Grange or Patrons of Husbandry. The other goddesses are Pomona, and Ceres.
The term flora comes from Latin language Flora, the goddess of flowers in Roman mythology. The corresponding term for animal life is fauna. Flora, fauna and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Some classic and modern floras are listed below.
Plants are grouped into floras based on region, period, special environment, or climate. Regions can be geographically distinct habitats like mountain vs. flatland. Floras can mean plant life of an historic era as in fossil flora. Lastly, floras may be subdivided by special environments:
- Native flora. The native and indigenous flora of an area.
- Agricultural and garden flora. The plants that are deliberately grown by humans.
- Weed flora. Traditionally this classification was applied to plants regarded as undesirable, and studied in efforts to control or eradicate them. Today the designation is less often used as a classification of plant life, since it includes three different types of plants: weedy species, invasive species (that may or may not be weedy), and native and introduced non-weedy species that are agriculturally undesirable. Many native plants previously considered weeds have been shown to be beneficial or even necessary to various ecosystems.
Bacterial organisms are sometimes included in a flora, and sometimes the terms bacterial flora and plant flora are used separately.
Floristic regions in Europe according to Wolfgang Frey and Rainer Lösch
Traditionally floras are books, but some are now published on CD-ROM or websites. The area that a flora covers can be either geographically or politically defined. Floras usually require some specialist botanical knowledge to use with any effectiveness.
It is said that the Flora Sinensis by the Polish Jesuit Michał Boym was the first book that used the name "Flora" in this meaning, a book covering the plant world of a region. However, despite its title it covered not only plants, but also some animals of the region.
A flora often contains diagnostic keys. Often these are dichotomous keys, which require the user to repeatedly examine a plant, and decide which one of two alternatives given in the flora best applies to the plant.
A compendium of world floras has been compiled by David Frodin.
A fossil leaf from the extinct Comptonia columbiana, 48.5 million years old. Klondike Mountain Formation, Republic, Ferry County, Washington, USA. Stonerose Interpretive Center.
- Britton, N. L., and Percy Wilson. Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands — Volume V, Part 1: Botany of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands: Pandanales to Thymeleales. New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1924.
- Central & South America
- North America
- Flora of North America
- Kearney, Thomas H. Arizona Flora. University of California Press, 1940.
- Hickman, James C., editor. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press, 1993.
- Hultén, Eric. Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories: A Manual of the Vascular Plants. Stanford University Press, 1968.
- Radford, Albert E. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
- Hitchcock, C. Leo, and Arthur Cronquist. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press, 1973.
- Chadde, Steve W., and Steve Chadde. A Great Lakes Wetland Flora. 2nd ed. Pocketflora Press, 2002. ISBN 0-9651385-5-0
- P. D. Strausbaugh and Earl L. Core. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Seneca Books Inc., 1964. ISBN 0-89092-010-9
- Ann Fouler Rhoads and Timothy A. Block. The Plants of Pennsylvania. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8122-3535-5
- Nathaniel Lord Britton and Hon. Addison Brown. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada. In three volumes. Dover Publications, 1913, 1970. ISBN 0-486-22642-5
Taxus chinensis, Chinese Yew tree. Morton Arboretum
- China and Japan
- Southeast Asia
- Indian region and Sri Lanka
- Flora of Bhutan
- Flora of the Presidency of Madras by J.S. Gamble (1915-36)
- Flora of Nepal
- Bengal Plants by D. Prain (1903)
- Flora of the upper Gangetic plains by J. F. Duthie (1903-29)
- Botany of Bihar and Orissa by H.H. Haines (1921-25)
- Flora of British India (1872-1897) by Sir J.D. Hooker
- Middle East and western Asia
- Flora of Turkey
- Flora Iranica
- Flora Palaestina:
- M. Zohary (1966). Flora Palaestina part 1.
- M. Zohary (1972). Flora Palaestina part 2.
- N. Feinbrun (1978). Flora Palaestina part 3.
- N. Feinbrun (1986). Flora Palaestina part 4.
- A. Danin, (2004). Distribution Atlas of Plants in the Flora Palaestina Area (Flora Palaestina part 5).
- Online updates: http://flora.huji.ac.il/browse.asp?lang=en&action=showfile&fileid=14005
- Flora of Australia
- Flora of New Zealand series:
- Allan, H.H. 1961, reprinted 1982. Flora of New Zealand. Volume I: Indigenous Tracheophyta - Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledons. ISBN 0-477-01056-3.
- Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970, reprinted 1976. Flora of New Zealand. Volume II: Indigenous Tracheophyta - Monocotyledons except Graminae. ISBN 0-477-01889-0.
- Healy, A.J.; Edgar, E. 1980. Flora of New Zealand Volume III. Adventive Cyperaceous, Petalous & Spathaceous Monocotyledons. ISBN 0-477-01041-5.
- Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.;Garnock-Jones, P.J. 1988. Flora of New Zealand Volume IV: Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. ISBN 0-477-02529-3.
- Edgar, E.; Connor, H.E. 2000. Flora of New Zealand Volume V: Grasses. ISBN 0-478-09331-4.
- Volumes I-V: First electronic edition, Landcare Research, June 2004. Transcribed by A.D. Wilton and I.M.L. Andres.
- Galloway, D.J. 1985. Flora of New Zealand: Lichens. ISBN 0-477-01266-3.
- Croasdale, H.; Flint, E.A. 1986. Flora of New Zealand: Desmids. Volume I. ISBN 0-477-02530-7.
- Croasdale, H.; Flint, E.A. 1988. Flora of New Zealand: Desmids. Volume II. ISBN 0-477-01353-8.
- Croasdale, H.; Flint, E.A.;Racine, M.M. 1994. Flora of New Zealand: Desmids. Volume III. ISBN 0-477-01642-1.
- Sykes, W.R.; West, C.J.; Beever, J.E.; Fife, A.J. 2000. Kermadec Islands Flora - Special Edition. ISBN 0-478-09339-X.
- Flora Vitiensis Nova, a New Flora of Fiji
- Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i, Warren L. Wagner and Derral R. Herbst (1991) + suppl. 
- Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie
- Flore de la Polynésie Française (J. Florence, vol. 1 & 2, 1997 & 2004)
- British Isles
- Morton, O.1994. Marine Algae of Northern Ireland. Ulster Museum, Belfast. ISBN 0 900761 28 8
- Stace, Clive Anthony, and Hilli Thompson (illustrator). A New Flora of the British Isles. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-521-58935-5.
- Beesley, S. and J. Wilde. Urban Flora of Belfast. Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University of Belfast, 1997.
- Killick, John, Roy Perry and Stan Woodell. Flora of Oxfordshire. Pisces Publications, 1998. ISBN 1-874357-07-2.
- Bowen, Humphry. The Flora of Dorset. Pisces Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-874357-16-1.
- Flora Celtica Plants and people in Celtic Europe
- Flora Europaea at the site of The Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh Flora Europaea
- Flora of Europe
- Flora iberica
- Flora of Acores
- Flora Danica
- Flora of Romania
Africa and Madagascar
- Flore du Gabon
- Flore du Cameroun
- Flora of Tropical Africa
- Flora of Tropical East Africa
- Flora Capensis
- Flora Zambesiaca
- Flora of South Africa
- Flore du Rwanda
- Flore de Madagascar et des Comores
Flora on Wikipedia
Blueberry plant with berries.
Wikipedia has the following mainly flora categories: