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What are the Floral Kingdoms of the World?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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The areas of the world are classified in several different ways in the field of geography. Zoogeographic provinces look at the animals of the world and their distribution. Ecoregions take both plants and animals into account. Looking at the world’s floral kingdoms is one of the means of making sense of the different area of the world and their distinctive flora.

Building on the word of Ronald Good, professor of botany at Hull University in Yorkshire, England, who identified six floral kingdoms, Soviet-Armenian botanist Armen Takhtajan, created a system of classification that has had great influence in the understanding of botany. Takhtajan’s six kingdoms are:

• Holarctic Kingdom
• Paleotropical Kingdom
• Neotropical Kingdom
• South African Kingdom
• Australian Kingdom
• Antarctic Kingdom

The six floral kingdoms contain at total of 35 regions, with each kingdom having at least one region, and all regions having at least one province, for a total of 152 provinces.

Holarctic Kingdom
If one views the globe with the North Pole on top, the Holarctic region covers the entire top of the world. Takhtajan has divided this kingdom into nine regions:

• Circumboreal Region covers the Arctic, Northern, Central, Eastern, and Atlantic Europe, the Caucasus, most of Siberia, and Canada, including the Great Lakes.

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• Easter Asiatic Regions includes all of China except the South, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Eastern Himalayas.

• North American Atlantic Region includes the North American Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain, the Prairies, and the Appalachian Province.

• Rocky Mountain Region includes the Rocky Mountains and Vancouver.

• Macaronesian Region includes the Azores, Madeira, the Canaries, and Cape Verde.

• Mediterranean Region includes the Southwest, South and East Mediterranean, Iberia, the Adriatic, and the Crimea.

• Saharo-Arabian Region covers the Sahara, Egypt, and Arabia.

• Irano-Turanian Region covers Mesopotamia, Armenia, Iran, the Western Himalayas, Mongolia, and Tibet

• Madrean Region covers the great Basin, Sonora, California, and the Mexican Highlands.

The Other Five Floral Kingdoms
This Paleotropical Kingdom covers the rest of Africa not included in the Holarctic Region, as well as India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Fiji, Polynesia, and Hawaii. The Neotropical Kingdom covers the rest of Mexico not covered in the Holartctic Region, plus Central America and most, but not all, of South America. The Australian Kingdom includes Australia. The South African Kingdom only includes the Cape Region, and sometimes the name Cape is used interchangeably for the Kingdom. Finally, the Antarctic Kingdom includes Chile, the Pampas, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego, southern islands in the Subantarctic region, New Zealand and neighboring islands, and the continent of Antarctica.

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