Natural Vegetation of India

Different Types of Vegetation in India

India is a country with diverse vegetation and wildlife. Due to its exclusive diversity in topography, the existential differences in the flora are witnessed. The natural vegetation of India is an example of how rich our natural resources can be to the entire world. In this section, you will learn what is natural vegetation and how it is segmented considering the topography and other features. Keep on reading and find out how the vegetation of India is classified into different types.

India and it's Natural Vegetation

The first thing that we will do is to describe natural vegetation. This term refers to the community of plants growing naturally in a particular area without any human intervention. The naturally-growing plants also show a set of features that match the environment of that place. Apart from all the crops, humans grow in fields and other places, every species of flora growing naturally can be considered as natural vegetation. It all depends on the average climate of a region that determines the type of vegetation. In fact, a pattern is observed in the vegetation growing in a particular climate in different regions. The climatic condition depends on the altitude of the area, seasons, duration of sunlight received, and latitude. It also depends on the soil of that region. Hence, by looking at the factors, you can understand that the duration and intensity of the photoperiod decide the type of vegetation. Apart from these factors, rainfall, humidity, etc also influence the types of vegetation in India.

Types of Natural Vegetation in India

Now that you have understood the natural vegetation meaning, you can easily classify the features of vegetation of a particular zone. The different types of vegetation in India are mentioned below.

1. Tropical Rainforest

This is one of the widest segments of forests found in India. India is a Subtropical country and it witnesses bigger summers and a vast range of rainfalls across the map. Due to the shielding of the Himalayas, the cold Arctic wind is restricted on the other side. As the name suggests, the rain forests occur in the areas witnessing heavy rainfall during the season or across the year. It is found in the Western Ghats, Lakshadweep, Assam, Andaman & Nicobar, Tamil Nadu, etc. The trees can grow up to a height of 60 meters. The noteworthy species found in these forests are mahogany, ebony, rubber, rosewood, and cinchona.

2. Tropical Deciduous Forest

As the name suggests, this natural vegetation comprises deciduous trees that shed their leaves once in a year during the dry summer season. This forest can be seen in the Himalayan foothills, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, etc. In fact, this type of vegetation is also seen on the eastern side of the Western Ghats. The prime species found in this forest are sandalwood, sal, bamboo, teak, shisham, Kusum, mulberry, Khair, Arjun, etc. These species of the natural vegetation of India are also commercially very important for different industries. These forests are generally found in regions that receive rainfall ranging from 70 cm to 200 cm annually.

3. Scrubs and Thorny Vegetations

These particular types of trees explain natural vegetation and a lot about the places where they grow. It is clear that these places get a scanty rainfall of 70 cm annually. This is the reason these plantations have adapted to this arid climate and started growing thorns to preserve water. The trees are generally bushy and thorny in nature. The arid climate and natural vegetation of India signify the features of these plants. You will find these plants in Rajasthan and the upper part of Gujarat where the climate is quite dry. In fact, arid areas of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh with less rainfall also grow such vegetation.

4. Montane forests

Among the different types of vegetation in India, this is a unique type where the species grow bigger leaves and are found at a height of 1000-3000 meters above sea level. The temperature is low and the climate is humid at the height of 1000 – 2000 meters. Here, you will find broad-leaved evergreen trees of chestnuts, oaks, etc. Above 1500 meters to 3000 meters, the natural vegetation has a temperate set of features. Here, the temperature drops and the climate is dryer. Trees like silver fir, deodar, spruce, pine, etc grow.

5. Mangrove Forests

If we talk about the natural vegetation of the deltas and estuaries, we will find exceptional features of the entire group of species. These trees and plants grow in tidal regions. The roots are submerged in tidal water. The common trees are Sundari plants found in the deltas of the Ganga, Kaveri, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Godavari. These forests are quite dense. Some of the plants also have roots that grow upwards.

Indian Medicinal Plants 

The medicinal plants in India tell the stories of the rich history of Ayurveda. The spices and medicinal plants are listed by the World Conservation Union. The Red List contains 352 medicinal plants grown in India. 52 out of this list are threatened with extinction. The common medicinal plants are tulsi, sarpagandha, babool, neem, Jamun, Arjun, etc. Study about these types of the natural vegetation of India and understand how the features depend on the climatic conditions.

The natural vegetation of India is a part of geography that is taught in grade 7 and grade 9 of the schools which followed the CBSE curriculum. Natural vegetation of India and wildlife is mainly discussed in detail in class nine, in chapter 5 called natural vegetation and wildlife.

Study notes on the topic of the natural vegetation of India provided by Vedantu are an extremely important resource for students. These notes are tailored according to the student’s needs as they are prepared by Vedantu’s expert geography teachers who have years of experience and are well-versed in the study of geography, they have done a critical analysis of the previous year question papers and the study notes are based on the latest curriculum set by the Central board of secondary education. 

Natural vegetation can be defined as the endowments of nature; this vegetation is grown naturally under favorable climatic conditions. Different types of vegetation are grown in different areas depending upon various factors such as climate, topography, precipitation, soil, etc. vegetation is nearly the fruits orchards and crops that are cultivated and therefore do not come under natural vegetation

Having 47000 plant species, India ranks 10th in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity, it is considered as one of the 12 mega biodiversity nations of the world. India has about 15,000 flowering plants, which accounts for 6% in the world's total number of flowering plants.

In other words, natural vegetation mainly refers to communities of plants that have grown naturally without any sort of humanitarian aid and that have been left dormant by humans for a long time. This type of vegetation is called virgin vegetation, therefore, crops, fruits, and orchards that are cultivated come under vegetation but not natural vegetation.

Key Topics Covered in Chapter 5 of Class 9 Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

  • Relief,

  •  land,

  • soil,

  • climate,

  • temperature,

  • photoperiod,

  • precipitation,

  • tropical evergreen forest,

  • tropical diseases forest,

  • the thorn Forest and scrubs,

  • Montaigne forest,

  • mangrove forest,

  • Wildlife


Taking a quick glance at notes available from Vedantu will help students get better equipped with the concept and therefore will enable them to answer the questions in the best possible way in the examinations that are held at the end of the term. These study notes provide students with a much-needed boost for the preparation of the examination.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Natural Vegetation?

The plant species that grow naturally in an area without any manmade intervention is called the natural vegetation of that place.

2. Do Medicinal Plants Fall in Natural Vegetation?

If you understand the natural vegetation meaning¸ you will follow that the medicinal plants also grow naturally in certain climates. The usefulness was discovered later. Hence, they are a part of India’s natural vegetation.

3. Where Do You Find Mangrove Forests?

Mangrove forests are found in the deltas and estuaries of rivers. These plants grow in the deltas that get covered during high tides.

4. What is natural vegetation?

Natural vegetation can be defined as the communities of plants that have grown naturally without any sort of humanitarian aid and that have been left dormant by humans for a long time. This type of vegetation is called virgin vegetation or natural vegetation, therefore crops, fruits, and orchards that are cultivated come under vegetation but not natural vegetation. The type of natural vegetation or virgin vegetation which is purely Indian is called endemic or indigenous species but those who do not originate from India and or from outside are called exotic plants. Two terms flora and fauna are used to denote plants and animal species, flora means plants that grow under certain conditions in a region or period whereas fauna is referred to species of animals.

5. What are Indian medicinal plants?

Indian medicinal plants come under the natural vegetation of India, it is one of the richest vegetation that India produces and has many advantages in The medicinal world. Some of the famous Indian medicinal plants are - aloe, neem, turmeric, ginger and Tulsi. These medicinal plants are responsible for curing several ailments people use as home remedies in various parts of the country. Tulsi is mainly used for making medicines et cetera. The medicinal plants of India are used in herbalism or herbal medicine. These medicinal plants are considered herbs and have been used since primitive times; their use is evident in ancient Unani manuscripts, Chinese writings, and Egyptian papyrus. Various evidence shows that Unani Hakims and Indian vaids have been using these herbs for over 4000 years as medicine.

6. Where can I find the study material related to natural vegetation in India?

The study material on the natural vegetation of India is provided on Vedanta’s website. The links can be easily accessible by visiting Vedanta‘s website. The study material is available in PDF format and can be downloaded for free. They can be used by students of class nine standard who want to get a good grade in the examination and these notes are also useful for civil service aspirants who are wanting to clear their bases in geography as these notes are based on the latest curriculum set by the Central board of secondary education.

7. What are mangrove forests?

Mangrove forests are also called tidal forests as they are grown in areas of cost which are influenced by tides. Dense mangrove forests are common, their roots and small plants are submerged underwater. Modern silt is accumulated on the coasts of this forest; the common rivers that are covered by such vegetation are Ganga, Mahanadi, Krishna, and the Kaveri.

8. What is a photoperiod?

Photoperiod is also called sunlight; it basically refers to the variation of sunlight in different regions which is caused by differences in altitude, latitude, season, and the duration of the day. In regions where there are long periods of sunlight, in those regions, the trees grow faster in summers.