Chaparral soil is typically dry and rich in iron oxides that give it a cinnamon or chestnut color. It contains little clay and lacks organic material.
Chaparral biomes exist where cool water meets hot land masses. These areas are usually located between 30 and 40 degrees of latitude north or south. They are characterized by wet winters and long periods of summer drought. They are subject to frequent fires. Plants in chaparral biomes are often drought deciduous and lose their leaves in summer. Their leaves are hard and waxy to retard water loss. Many have highly flammable foliage combined with heavy bark and deep roots. These adaptations cause fire to spread quickly but allow rapid regrowth after it passes.