Loire - Flora

Flora

The Centre region of the Loire River valley accounts for the largest forest in France, the "Forêt d'Orléans", covering an area of 38,234 ha, and the 5,440 ha forested park known as the "Foret de Chambord". Other vegetation in the valley, mostly under private control, consists of tree species of oak, beech and pine. In the marshy lands, ash, alder and willows are grown with duckweed providing the needed natural fertilizing effect. The Atlantic coast is home to several aquatic herbs, the important species is Salicornia, which is used as a culinary ingredient on account of its diuretic value. Greeks introduced vines. Romans introduced melons, apples, cherries, quinces and pears during the Middle Ages, apart from extracting saffron from purple crocus species in the Orléans. Reine claude (Prunus domestica italica) tree species was planted in the gardens of the Château. Asparagus was also brought from northwestern France.

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