Its wild grasses are luxuriant and a shrubby growth is found along many of its streams. The decline in stock-breeding resulted in a considerable growth of trees and chaparral over the greater part of the plain.
A large part of the chaparral consists of the chaparro, a low evergreen oak of hardy characteristics, mixed with mimosa, desmauthus, zonia and others.
Velez „ Among the smaller towns which deserve mention are Ambalema on the upper Magdalena, celebrated for its tobacco and cigars; Buenaventura (q.v.); Chaparral (9000), a market town of Tolima in the valley of the Saldana, with coal, iron and petroleum in its vicinity; Honda (6000), an important commercial centre at the head of navigation on the lower Magdalena; Girardot, a railway centre on the upper Magdalena; and Quibd6, a small river town at the head of navigation on the Atrato.
The chamiso and the manzanita, with a variety of shrubby oaks and thorny plants, often grow together in a dense and sometimes quite impenetrable undergrowth, forming what is known as " chaparral "; if the chamiso occurs alone the thicket is a " chamisal."