What plants are in Estonia?
Estonia is traversed by an important European bio-geographical borderline which divides the area into two large provinces. The northern and western parts of the country with their characteristic calciphilous plant communities of alvars, fens, wooded meadows and broad-leaved forests belong to the Mid-European province while the East, where acid soils promote the development of acidophilous plants and pine as the main forest-forming tree, belongs to the East-European province. There are as many as 251 species of higher plants for which Estonia is the distribution limit, be it northern, southern, western or eastern. The number of vascular plants growing in Estonia totals ca 1 400 (together with microspecies of some genera ca 1 600). Due to the milder climate of western Estonia, 3/4 of the total number of species are found in the coastal lowlands and islands. This also includes the only local endemic species - Saaremaa yellow rattle - which grows in the western part of the island of Saaremaa. In spite of large tracks of intact nature, Estonian flora as a whole is under strong human attack. For instance, the vegetation of grasslands, varying from floodplain meadows on the riverbanks to the dry alvars, has been formed under a long-lasting and steady impact of haymaking and pasturing. About one fourth of Estonian plant species are habitants of marshes. Owing to their stability as habitats, the bogs also contain many relict species that once colonised the tundra-like landscape which emerged from under the withdrawing ice. Of the forest-tundra plants, inhabiting Estonian bogs, the shrub-like dwarf birch and the cloudberry are most common. Fungi are found in all natural and ruderal habitats of Estonia, being particularly widespread in forests, meadows and bogs. The best mushroom forests, where there can be found as many as 400 edible fungi, are situated in the north and southeastern Estonia, as well as in Saaremaa. More information:http://www.einst.ee/publications/nature/