You would know that plants require subtle conditions to grow, including fertile soil, adequate water, proper sunlight, and the likes. However, such things are rare in hilly areas such as mountains.
For example, hilly areas are prominently known for cooler climates, thin air, thin soil, and strong wind.
All these discourage vegetation in hilly areas. Still, some plants can flourish under the conditions mentioned above. Continue reading to know more about such plants.
Top 8 Plants that grow in hilly areas
As you go up the mountains, there comes a height at which the temperature is so low, and the speed of winds is too high that no plant can survive there. That level is called the tree line. Hence, the following are the plants that you can find below the tree line or timberline.
When it comes to the plants that grow in hilly areas, spruce can’t miss out. The scientific name of the plant is Picea. It belongs to the conifer family, Pinaceae.
Being a mountainous plant, you can easily locate spruce in the temperate and cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Appearance-wise, spruce plants are tall trees with green foliage from top to bottom.
The pulp obtained from the plant is essential for the paper industry, and that is why you can find paper industries situated in the hilly regions as well. The timber of the plant has plenty of applications too.
For example, the timber of the spruce plant is considered good for various musical instruments such as violins and pianos.
Furthermore, you can use the plant’s wood to make boats, airplanes, and barrels. The average height of the plant is 18 to 21 meters (about 60 to 70 feet).
Another plant that flourishes in the hilly regions is the apple, whose scientific name is domestica.
It belongs to the family Rosaceae and is one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees globally with a ripened, fleshy, and edible ovary & surrounding tissue. The flowers of apples are grown through cross-pollination.
At harvesting, the plant develops round apples of diameter up to 5-10 cm. It has shades such as green, red, or yellow.
Though there are thousands of varieties of apples, the three broad ones are – cider varieties, cooking varieties, and dessert varieties.
While the first category of apples is best for making health drinks called ciders, the second variety, i.e., cooking variety, is used for cooking purposes & is not that sweet as the third variety, called the dessert variety.
The other varieties of apples show slight differentiation in terms of their color, aroma, size, smoothness, crispness, and tang.
Not to forget about apples’ critical characteristics, including high sugar content, only mildly acidic, and very low tannin. Apples are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber.
Tea or Camellia sinensis is another popular hilly area plant commonly used to prepare a drink known as tea. You can prepare it by boiling leaf buds and young leaves of the tea plant.
Currently, the two major tea production units are operational in China and Assam, India.
While the small-leaved tea plant (C. Sinensis variety Sinensis) is grown in China, the large-leaved tea plant (C. Sinensis variety assamica) is grown in Assam, India.
However, the tea plant, as per Historians, originated in China in around 2700 BCE. Tea is today consumed as a daily drink.
Pine or Pinus belong to the family called Pinaceae. Although the pine plant is throughout the world, it is native to the northern temperate regions.
Just like spruce, pine is an important raw material for industries dealing in construction and paper products.
Although pine is the prime example of softwood, they are commercially fit into soft and hard pines for versatility.
Furthermore, the plant is a rich source of turpentine, oils, rosin, and wood tars. Talking about the fungal diseases pine trees are susceptible to, white-pine blister rust and nematode infection are the two most common.
Strawberry belongs to the Rosaceae family. There are over twenty natural strawberry species and several hybrid species.
The most common species of the close relative of the rose is Fragaria x ananassa, or the Garden Strawberry.
Unlike the other fruit plants or plants in general, the basis of differentiation and classification of the strawberry plant is the number of chromosomes.
All strawberry plants share seven common types of chromosomes, and you can recognize them by the pairs of chromosomes.
For example, strawberry plants with two sets of seven chromosomes are diploid. Similarly, other species are popular as tetraploid, hexaploid, octoploid, decaploid, etc.
Cardamom is a whole or ground dried fruit that you can use in savory delicacies. Its scientific name is Elettaria cardamomum. The plant is a herbaceous perennial plant from the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).
It is prominently known for its intense and highly aromatic flavor that sometimes resembles that of camphor.
On average, a cardamom or cardamon plant can reach up to a height of 1.5 to 6 meters (5 to 20 feet).
The plant’s fruit is green and consists of hard and angular seeds that can be in any number from 15-20 per fruit.
These seeds are the main source of aroma and taste of the plant. Today, the three major contributors of cardamom are India, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala.
Maple or Acer belongs to the family Sapindaceae and has over 200 species to date.
Though you can mostly find it in China, its major contributor, you can find some plant species in north temperate zones.
The maple plant is mostly in use for its ornamental properties. That is the reason you can plant maple in lawns, parks, and along streets.
While the dense syrup obtained from maple called maple syrup has a wide range of applications, the timber of the plant is suitable for furniture and other uses as well.
There are three broad categories of a maple grown – small, medium, and tall. While the small maples have a height of 5-6 meters, the medium maples can reach up to 8-10 meters. Lastly, the average height of tall maples sometimes exceeds 25-30 meters.
With over 800 species, oak is the most loved and admired plant in the world. Being often linked to powerful gods and goddesses symbolizes strength, morale, resistance, and knowledge.
The oak tree is native to the Northern hemisphere, where you will find oak trees with an age of over 1000 years. That’s the reason oak is the highly preferred wood for wooden articles.
The height of a typical oak seedling is around 10 to 15 cm initially from germination.
An oak tree requires warm and sunny conditions, adequate water, and permanent support to grow around for modest growth.
So, these are the top 8 plants that grow in the hilly areas and mountains.
Indeed, mountains are never considered an ideal location for vegetation for the various reasons mentioned in the beginning.
Some plants do exist like the above ones in the hilly areas. Furthermore, over 100 such plants are native to the Northern hemisphere and utilized in numerous ways.