Included here is most of the Iberian Peninsula. The temperate conifer forests are dominated by species of pine.

Iberian Pinus pinaster Forest

Maritime pine Pinus pinaster has its stronghold in the Iberian Peninsula where it mainly forms woods in coastal sandy areas. Iberian examples are characterized by the presence of Cistus, Erica, Cytisus, Genista and Ulex species. Other associated trees may include Scots pine Pinus sylvestris and the near endemic black pine Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii.  Stands of maritime pine can also occur in the uplands. For example, some of the higher parts of the coastal mountains of the Costa del Sol, such as Sierra Bermeja, are covered in open maritime pine. Here the undergowth includes Alyssum serpyllifolium and Cistus populifolius together the endemic Armeria colorata (Plumbaginaceae) and Halimium atriplicifolium (Cistaceae), and in the more open patches the tiny annual Arenaria capillipes (Caryophyllaceae) occurs which is a local endemic to these mountains. In other parts of these coastal mountains Erica umbellatum becomes one of the main under storey species, and growing amongst it can be found the unusual endemic insectivorous plant Drosophyllum lusitanicum (Droseraceae) situated at the easternmost limit of its range. The genus Drosophyllum is also confined to the Iberian Peninsula. Other endemics associated with these forests include Narcissus cantabricus (Amaryllidaceae).

Iberian Pinus pinea Forest

Stone pine Pinus pinea, like maritime pine, is another largely coastal tree, and has its distribution centered on the Iberian Peninsula. It also occurs in the lower montane zones where there is slightly more precipitation. Forests of Pinus pinea tends to grow on richer soils and usually have well-developed shrub and field layers. Among the more typical shrubs is Clematis flammula, Cistus albidus, Cistus salvifolius, Daphne gnidium, Hedera helix, Pyracantha coccinea, Rubia peregrina and Ulex europaeus, while the field layer commonly includes Lathyrus clymenum, Linum perenne and the orchids Cephalanthera longifolia and Neotinea intacta. Extensive stone pine forests occur, for example, in the Algarve, which has the distinction of being the most southwesterly region of Europe. Here the scrub layer also includes the elegant white flowered broom Lygos monosperma, together withseveral endemic species such as Anchusa calcarea (Boraginaceae), Cistus libanotis and Tuberaria major (Cistaceae).


Gómez-Campo, G., Bermúdez-Castro, L., Cagiga, M. J. & Sánchez-Yélamo, M. D. 1984. Endemism in the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. Webbia, 38: 709-714.

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Smythes, B. E. 1984. Flora of Spain and the Balearic Islands - Checklist of vascular plants. Englera 3(1). Veroffentlichungen aus dem Botanischen Garten und Botanischen Museum. Berlin - Dahlem.