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FLORA is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous —native plant life. The corresponding term for animal life is fauna . _Flora_, _fauna_ and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota . Sometimes bacteria and fungi are also referred to as flora, as in the terms gut flora or skin flora .

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Flora classifications * 3 Documentation of floras * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The word "flora" comes from the Latin name of Flora , the goddess of plants , flowers , and fertility in Roman mythology .

The distinction between vegetation (the general appearance of a community) and flora (the taxonomic composition of a community) was first made by Jules Thurmann (1849). Prior to this, the two terms were used indiscriminately.

FLORA CLASSIFICATIONS

Plants are grouped into floras based on region (floristic regions ), period, special environment, or climate. Regions can be geographically distinct habitats like mountain vs. flatland. Floras can mean plant life of a 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 horticultural flora (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 .

DOCUMENTATION OF FLORAS

The botanical continents of the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions , used for classifying floras geogr