Typical plants in a forest are tall deciduous trees including maple, beech, hickory and oak, and evergreens such as fir, spruce and hemlock. Understory varieties are red bud, dogwood, rhododendrons and holly. Spring wild flowers on the forest floor include jack in the pulpit, lady slipper orchid and trillium.
There are four forest types, each with typical indigenous plants. The temperate deciduous forest, occurring in the eastern United States and parts of Europe and Asia, has four distinct seasons with both rain and snow. Sunlight reaches the forest floor in spite of evergreens and a moderately dense broad-leaf tree canopy, ensuring several under-story layers.
The temperate coniferous forest, found in the Pacific Northwest in the United States, has very little temperature fluctuation and yearly precipitation ranging from 50 to 200 inches. Conditions are ideal for tall-growing evergreen conifers that dominate these forests. Trees typically found are Douglas fir, pine, spruce, cedar, cypress and redwood.
Boreal forests are located only in northern climates where long winters, short summers, thin soil and 15 to 40 inches of yearly precipitation, mostly in the form of snow, limit vegetation. Evergreens such as spruce, pine and fir comprise most of the plants. Tropical rain forests are found near the equator, where year-round temperatures remain between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit and yearly rainfall totals 100 inches. The tallest tropical rain forest plants are generally broad-leaved, ranging from 80 to 115 feet in height. Typical understory plants include palms, vines, ferns and orchids.