Included here are the Atlantic islands of Madeira and Port Santo and the uninhabited Desertas and Salvage islands.

Madeiran Heath Forest

At altitudes above about 1300 m in the north and 1500 m in the south there is often a belt of heath forest characterized by the two tree heathers Erica arborea and the endemic Erica scoparia subsp. maderinicola (Ericaceae).  It reaches a height of about 4 m but is often stunted. Other typical species include small trees like the endemic Sorbus maderensis (Sambucaceae) and endemic shrubs like Teucrium francoi (Lamiaceae) and Vaccinium padifolium (Ericaceae). The endemic shield fern Polystichum falcinellum (Dryopteridaceae) is also very characteristic of these forests. Reasonably undisturbed examples of these forests can be found, for example, around Pico Ruivo.

Madeiran High Mountain Vegetation

Above the heath forest low growing plants predominate such as the endemic dwarf shrub Erica maderensis (Ericaceae), although relatively tall stands of the endemic Echium candicans (Boraginaceae) can also be found. In coastal areas these plants have appressed hairs on their stems, but at high altitude they become spread open and their flowers become slightly darker. Other plants such as the endemic Viola paradoxa (Violaceae) seek protection in cracks, but many other species flourish on the exposed rocky slopes. Examples include Argyranthemum pinnatifidum subsp. montanum (Asteraceae), Armeria maderensis (Plumbaginaceae), and slightly surprisingly, the endemic rock orchid Orchis scopularum (Orchidaceae).  


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