The coastlands of Natal and Portuguese East Africa, the vegetation is abundant, and mangroves, palms, baobab and bombax trees flourish.
The study of the distribution of species dates back to the time of the early systematists, the study of vegetation to the time of the early botanical travellers.
In Europe the corn spirit sometimes immanent in the crop, sometimes a presiding deity whose life does not depend on that of the growing corn, is conceived in some districts in the form of an ox, hare or cock, in others as an old man or woman; in the East Indies and America the rice or maize mother is a corresponding figure; in classical Europe and the East we have in Ceres and Demeter, Adonis and Dionysus, and other deities, vegetation gods whose origin we can readily trace back to the rustic corn spirit.
Thus natural or artificial surfaces which are completely permeable to rainfall may become almost impermeable when protected by surface water from drought and frost, and from earth-worms, vegetation and artificial disturbance.
Florida seems to be a link between the vegetation of North America and that of South America and the West Indies, for out of 247 species of S.
In altitude, having among them narrow valleys in which the vegetation is scanty, with exceptional regions of greater fertility in the neighbourhood of the coasts, where the rainfall is greatest.
The higher mountains rise abruptly from the plains; on their slopes, clothed below almost exclusively with the more tropical forms, a vegetation of a warm temperate character, chiefly evergreen, soon begins to prevail, comprising Magnoliaceae, Ternstroemiaceae, subtropical Rosaceae, rhododendron, oak, Ilex, Symplocos, Lauraceae, Pinus longifolia, with mountain forms of truly tropical orders, palms, Pandanus, Musa, Vitis, Vernonia, and many others.
The vegetation of the dry region of central Asia is remarkable for the great relative number of Chenopodiaceae, Salicornia and other Central salt plants being common; Polygonaceae also are abun Asia.
Its northern fringe is no doubt frequented by the Bedouin tribes of southern Nejd after the rains, when its sands, like those of the northern desert, produce herbage; but towards the east, according to Burckhardt's information, it is quite without vegetation even in the winter and spring.
The vegetation of the Malayan Islands is for the most part that of the wetter and hotter region of India; but the greater uniformity of the temperature and humidity leads to the predomin ance of certain tropical forms not so conspicuous in India, while the proximity of the Australian continent has permitted the partial diffusion of Australian types which are not seen in India.