If allowed only one word to justify the Smokies worthiness as a National Park, that word would be plants. Vegetation is to Great Smoky Mountains National Park what granite domes and waterfalls are to Yosemite and geysers are to Yellowstone.
Variations in elevation, rainfall, temperature, and geology in these ancient mountains provide ideal habitat for over 1,600 species of flowering plants, including 100 native tree species and over 100 native shrub species.
The park is also a global center for non-flowering plants, including 450 bryophytes-mosses, liverworts, and a few hornworts. Non-flowering species also include some 50 ferns and fern allies and at least one horsetail.
The park is home to three federally listed threatened (T) and endangered (E) plant species: spreading avens (E), Virginia spiraea (T), and rock gnome lichen (E), the latter being part fungus. View a listing of federally Threatened and Endangered Species. Over 300 additional species of native vascular plants are considered rare, meaning they are generally found in small populations or have five or fewer occurrences within the park. Once one of the park's most common trees, the American chestnut is almost gone from the park landscape. Also considered rare are nearly 200 of the 450 non-vascular plants. A total of 76 species of park plants are listed as threatened or endangered in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. Some plants are rare because they are being poached.
Non-native plants, species that have been introduced to an ecosystem by human activities, are a threat to many park ecosystems. Of over 380 non-native species in the park, 35 spread aggressively, out-competing native plants for habitat. Some of the worst offenders in the park are kudzu, mimosa, multiflora rose, and Japanese grass.
Use the trees and shrubs checklist to see if you can find every species in the park!
Klokkijken college st paul college. Find the best plants and flowers to landscape your yard or decorate your home at HGTV.com along with planting, growing, and care tips.
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Plant, (kingdom Plantae), any multicellular eukaryotic life-form characterized by (1) photosynthetic nutrition (a characteristic possessed by all plants except some parasitic plants and underground orchids), in which chemical energy is produced from water, minerals, and carbon dioxide with the aid of pigments and the radiant energy of the Sun, (2) essentially unlimited growth at localized regions, (3) cells that contain cellulose in their walls and are therefore to some extent rigid, (4) the absence of organs of locomotion, resulting in a more or less stationary existence, (5) the absence of nervous systems, and (6) life histories that show an alteration of haploid and diploid generations, with the dominance of one over the other being taxonomically significant.
Plants range in size from diminutive duckweeds only a few millimetres in length to the giant sequoias of California that reach 90 metres (300 feet) or more in height. There are an estimated 390,900 different species of plants known to science, and new species are continually being described, particularly from previously unexplored tropical areas of the world. Plants evolved from aquatic ancestors and have subsequently migrated over the entire surface of Earth, inhabiting tropical, Arctic, desert, and Alpine regions. Some plants have returned to an aquatic habitat in either fresh or salt water.
Plants play a vital role in the maintenance of life on Earth. All energy used by living organisms depends on the complex process of photosynthesis, which is mostly carried out by green plants. Radiant energy from the Sun is transformed into organic chemical energy in the form of sugars through the fundamental series of chemical reactions constituting photosynthesis. In nature all food chains begin with photosynthetic autotrophs (primary producers), including green plants and algae. Primary producers, represented by trees, shrubs, and herbs, are a prolific source of energy in the form of carbohydrates (sugars) stored in the leaves. These carbohydrates, produced in photosynthesis, are broken down in a process called respiration; the smaller units of the sugar molecule and its products fuel numerous metabolic processes. Various parts of the plant (e.g., leaves) are the energy sources that support animal life in different communityhabitats. A by-product of photosynthesis, oxygen, is essential to animals.
The daily existence of human beings is also directly influenced by plants. Plants furnish food and flavourings; raw materials for industry, such as wood, resins, oils, and rubber; fibres for the manufacture of fabrics and cordage; medicines; insecticides; and fuels. More than half of Earth’s population relies on the grassesrice, corn (maize), and wheat as their primary source of food. Apart from their commercial and aesthetic value, plants conserve other natural resources by protecting soils from erosion, by controlling water levels and quality, and by producing a favourable atmosphere.
The following article summarizes the morphological, physiological, and ecological features of plants. The principal focus is on structure and function, physiology, life histories, and ecology, and on how the various plant groups have evolved, dispersed, and become adapted to life on land. The features that define each major plant group and the role they play in the wider ecosystem also are discussed.