plant life

Forests cover circa two thirds of Perm region territory or nothing less than over ten million hectares. Forests in the Perm region are magnificent, and produce a distinct fairy-tale impression. Perm region occupies the dark coniferous taiga zone. Two sub-zones can be identified in the Perm region. They are the middle and southern taiga. The border between them follows the 59th parallel of the northern latitude. To imagine it easier, one needs to look at map of the Perm region and draw an imaginary line connecting the Kochevo, Usolie and Berezniki settlements. Anything to the south of the line is the southern taiga zone and anything above it will be the middle sub-zone of the taiga zone. It is quite a hard task for common people to distinguish them visually by their plant lives. Forests of the middle and southern taiga differ by their underbrush compositions.

In the southern taiga one can encounter broadleaf species such as lindens, maples or elms. There are no such plants in the middle taiga, and lindens occur only in the form of bushes. 

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Linden Alley near Perm 
Opera and Ballet Theater 
Pine Wood 

The forest stand (the tallest trees that form the forest) of dark coniferous woods in the Perm region most frequently consists of the spruce and abies. The spruce in the Perm region is represented by two species. They are the common spruce and the Siberian spruce. Both species are equally valuable. The spruce does not like excessively moist soil, and under good conditions can grow up to 30 meters high.

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Of the dark coniferous woods, spruce forests account for circa 80% of the area, while abies woods account for the remaining 20%. The abies is a true beauty of the local woods. Its needles are softer, lighter and rich in numerous essential oils. Since ancient times, the humanity has known curative virtues of abies oil and nothing compares to abies bath besoms. Still, abies does not stand low ambient humidity and strong frosts and therefore is not widespread in Perm Region as the spruce, but still occupies over 200,000 hectares.

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The plant life of Perm Region includes light coniferous woods as well with the pine being the most widespread tree there. It is not in vain that pine forests are called the Sun children, as they require sunlight for their normal development. Straining after the sunlight, the pine can grow as high as 40 meters but there will always be light under the pinewood roof. Another name of the pine, the Latin word "pinus" means a "cliff" in English. The pine is very steadfast and grows even on the most poor and unsuitable soils. It is the first tree to occupy clearances and burnings, and is resistant to frosts and pests.

The plant life of the southernmost Perm Region accommodates even broadleaf groves. For example, there is an oak grove of circa 200 trees in Chernushinskiy District. The oak is beautiful for centuries. During the postglacial period, the oak was occupying northerner areas (near the Bystraia village in the Usolskiy District; Ust-Kosinskoye Swamp) and later, with climate changes towards lower temperatures, the spruce ousted the oak, and the latter's habitat moved southwards significantly.

The plant life of Perm region also includes cedars (or cedar pines, to be more precise), echinulate pyramidal junipers, three species of birches (silver birch, downy birch and flaccid birch), ground cherries (not far from Kudymkar), hackberries, raspberries, rowans that bring the so-called "rowan heat spells" to the Perm region when flowering and, of course, aspens whose rounded leaves tremble even in the slightest wind. The Latin name of the aspen refers to this very peculiarity. The Latin “populus tremula” means the trembling poplar in Russian. 

Upland and bottomland meadows of Perm Region are home to multitudes of grasses. Cranberries grow in high moors of Perm Region. Locals have been eating and using cranberries as medicine since ancient times.

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Over 60 plant species are included into the Red List of Perm region. They include the snakeroot, sand pink, spot leaf orchis, nanous skullcap and other species. In addition to the Red List species, Perm Region boasts of endemic and relict species. One can see some of them in the wildlife preserves of Perm region such as Basegi and Krasnovisherskiy Wildlife Preserves.

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