In botany, flora (plural: floras or florae) has two meanings:
A flora (with a lower case 'f') refers to the plant life occurring in a particular region, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous plant life. Botanist and paleobotanists use the term to refer to a typical collection of plants found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert flora" or the "Caenozoic flora". It also can refer to a given subset of the flora of a given region, as in: "... Southern Africa has a rich Ericaceous flora ...".
A Flora (with a capital 'F') refers to a book or other work describing a flora and including aids for the identification of the plants it contains such as botanical keys and line drawings that illustrate the characters that distinguish the different plants. Floristics is the study of floras, including the preparation of Floras.
Plants are grouped into floras based on region, period, special environment, or climate. Regions can be geographically distinct habitats like mountain vs. flatland. Floras can mean plant life of an historic era as in fossil flora. Lastly, floras may be subdivided by... Read More