All of the planet’s major biomes are represented in a variety of plant life in North America, from Arctic tundras in the North to deserts in the Southeast, as well as pastures, wetlands and various forest biomes in between. The forest serves as an important habitat for North American animals and is the natural vegetation of nearly half of continental Canada and the United States of America. Prior to European settlement, forest land prevailed in the Eastern and most of the North of the continent. The grasses covered most of North America. Desert vegetation is native to the southwest, and tundra – to the far North. However, in most of the continent, human activity has almost destroyed the local flora. Conifers North America Along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Northern California grows evergreen coniferous forest. It includes some of the largest and longest-lived trees in the world. To the North of California’s most famous trees are Sitka Spruce Is the largest species of the genus Spruce, it is the fifth largest conifer in the world (behind giant Sequoia red Redwood tree agathis South, and the giant arborvitae), and the third tallest conifer species (after red Redwood and coastal Douglas fir). The name of the species comes from the city of Sitka, Alaska. The species is a large coniferous evergreen tree, growing to almost 100 m and with a trunk diameter at chest height exceeding 5 m. This type of large coniferous tree is an integral part of the Pacific Northwest forests West of the coast of North America. Western Hemlock wood is extremely important throughout the region, along with many large coniferous trees, the Tree grows up to 50-70 m in height, in exceptional cases can reach 83.34 m, and with a trunk diameter of up to 2.7 m. It is the largest species of the genus Tsug. Thuja folded Tree is a kind of thuja genus and belongs to the Cypress family. The species is found in Western North America and is one of the most common trees in the Northwest Pacific coast. Thuja grows at an altitude of 2,290 meters above sea level. Thuja folded is a big tree from 65 to 70 m high and 3-4 m in diameter of a trunk. Douglas-fir In Western North America grows two subspecies Pseudotsuga Menzies: the Douglas fir blue-gray (common in the Rocky mountains and in the mountain forests of Central British Columbia, at an altitude of 3000 meters on the sea level) and coastal Douglas fir (found in the coastal regions of Western North America, from Western British Columbia to Central California). The wood of this tree is widely used all over the world. The Douglas fir grows to 75 m tall and diameter up to 2 m. However, it was documented and trees up to 120 m and a trunk diameter up to 6 m Sequoia red In California the dominant species of riparian conifers is Sequoia. It is one of the tallest trees in the world, grows to a height of about 100 meters and can live for two thousand years. Red Sequoia is the only species of the genus Sequoia. Hyperion Sequoia called “Hyperion” is the tallest tree not only in North America but all over the world. It has a height of 115.61 m and a trunk diameter at chest level – 4.84 m. Coniferous forest also grows along the Cascade mountains and Sierra Nevada. Trees of the Cascade mountains include: mountain Hemlock and fir, which grow on hills, and Western Hemlock, thuja folded and some species of fir growing slightly lower. Forests of the Sierra Nevada include pine, mountain Hemlock and fir great at higher elevations; plain fir, pine and Pseudotsuga Menzies somewhat lower. Yellow pine dominates the low mountain elevations in both these Pacific ranges. General Sherman the Giant Sequoia “General Sherman”, which has long been considered the largest and heaviest living organism on Earth, is growing in the National Park “Sequoia”, located in the southern part of Sierra Nevada. Its weight is estimated at 1,900 tons, and the volume of wood is 1,487 m3, with a height of 83.8 m3. The age of the tree varies from 2300 to 2700 years. The Pando forest is However the heaviest and living single organism on Earth is the colony of poplars ocinebrina called Pando forest. It covers an area of 43 hectares, the total weight is about 6 000 tons, and the age is estimated at approximately 80 000 years. Boreal coniferous forest South of the Arctic tundra, in North America is a wide belt of boreal, coniferous, evergreen forests. It is often called taiga (Russian name of such coniferous forests growing in the North of Eurasia). However, in the vast areas of North-Eastern Siberia, the dominant trees are larch, which deciduous, while the North American taiga mostly evergreen. The taiga is the largest coniferous forest in North America, covering almost 30 % of the land area North of Mexico. It spreads through Alaska and Canada South to the Northern States of the Great lakes and New England. Of blue spruce and balsam fir dominate in most parts of the canadian forest. Grey spruce is a large coniferous evergreen tree that usually grows up to 15-30 m in height, but can grow up to 40 m, with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m. This kind of Spruce is also cultivated as a decorative plant. The tree is a symbol in the canadian province of Manitoba as well as the state of South Dakota. Balsamic Balsamic fir is an evergreen tree of small and medium size, usually grows up to 14-20 meters, rarely up to 27 meters, with a narrow conical crown. This type of tree is popular as a Christmas tree, especially in the northeastern United States. Wood and resin of balsamic fir is widely used by mankind for various purposes. Eastern deciduous forest These forests mainly contain broad-leaved tree species and cover a large area of Eastern North America. They are closely related to tree species growing in temperate deciduous forests in Europe and Asia. Plants of other biomes in North America are generally not related to the vegetation of the same biomes in other parts of the world, although they look similar. In the Eastern deciduous forest are widespread maples and oaks – maples, especially in the North, oaks in the South. Most species of maple are trees that grow up to 10-45 m in height. Others are shrubs less than 10 meters high with a few small trunks growing at ground level. Oak Is a tree or shrub of the genus Quercus. There are about 600 known species of oak. North America has the greatest diversity, with about 90 species in the United States, and 160 species, of which 109 are endemic to Mexico. Oak wood has a density of about 0.75 g/cm3, thereby providing greater strength and hardness. It is widely used all over the world. Forest in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New England contains not only deciduous trees, but also evergreen conifers, including pine and Hemlock. Huge pine plantations in the States of the Great lakes were cut down for use in the woodworking industry. Plant diseases have changed the species composition of the Eastern forest. American chestnut was once an important breed, but now almost disappeared as a result of the introduced fungal disease. Dutch elm disease also leads to the disappearance of trees, up to entire populations. Central plains of North America – a wide strip of plains of Canada and the United States. The climate here is too dry to support the growth of trees. From West to East, there is a transition from short grass in the meadows (Great plains) to mixed grass prairies, where vegetation is richer. Prairie This change is due to an increase in precipitation from West to East. Grasses less than 0.5 metres is dominated by arid grasslands. In the prairies tall grass grows more than 3 meters. Colorful wildflowers adorn the landscapes of the prairies. The pastures of North America are the most fertile. Instead of wild grasses, this land now supports agriculture. However, cattle disturbed the land and contributed to the spread of invasive plants. Other marginal meadows are located in the Western part of the continent. Between the Eastern deciduous forest and prairies are savannas, pastures with scattered deciduous trees, mainly oaks. Savannah is also found in much of Eastern Mexico and southern Florida. North American desert plants Chaparral Plants In the semi-arid and arid Western part of the continent, the natural vegetation is grass and shrubs. In most parts of California grow so-called Chaparral plants. The North American deserts, located between the Rocky mountains and Sierra Nevada, occupy less than 5 % of the continent. Shrubs are the predominant vegetation, although there are many varieties of annuals. Desert plants, usually cacti and other succulents, are rarely distributed. In southern California, Arizona, new Mexico, Western Texas, and northwestern Mexico, there are the following deserts: the Sonora desert stretches from southern California to Western Arizona and Northern Mexico. The most famous desert plant is the giant cactus saguaro. Giant cactus saguaro – tree-like species of cacti of the monotype genus Carnegiea, which can grow more than 21 m in height. In 1994, Saguaro national Park was established in Arizona to protect the species and its habitat. The image of saguaro is indelibly associated with the image of the American southwest, especially in films. East of Sonora, in West Texas and new Mexico, is the Chihuahua desert. Common plants are agave and age-old plants. Agave agave is a genus of monocotyledonous plants found in the hot and arid regions of Mexico and the southwestern United States.