The soil to the depth of many feet, and from it springs the most marvellous tangle of huge trees, shrubs, bushes, underwood, creepers, climbing plants and trailing vines, the whole hung with ferns, mosses, and parasitic growths, and bound together by rattans and huge rope-like trailers.
Many trees offer magnificent displays of flowers at certain seasons of the year; perhaps the loveliest effect is derived from the bushes and trailing creepers of the Combretum genus, which, during the "winter" months from December to March, cover the scrub and the forest with mantles of rose colour.
The Samoan forests are remarkable for the size and variety of their trees, and the luxuriance and beauty of tree-ferns, creepers and parasites.
Certhiomorphae.-3 families: tree-creepers, nut-hatches.
An ascent made by Dr Honda of the imperial university of Japan showed that, up to a height of 6000 ft., the mountain is clothed with primeval forests of palms, banyans, cork trees, camphor trees, tree ferns, interlacing creepers and dense thickets of rattan or stretches of grass higher than a man's stature.
The bush contains also numerous creepers, one of the most common being known as the armo.
Deep valleys winding through the barren foothills lead gradually up to the higher mountains, and as the track ascends the scenery and vegetation change their character; the trees which line the banks of the wadi are overgrown with creepers, and the running stream is dammed at frequent intervals, and led off in artificial channels to irrigate the fields on either side; the steeper parts of the road are paved with large stones, substantially built villages, with their masonry towers or da y s, crowning every height, replace the collection of *mud walls and brushwood huts of the low country; while tier above tier, terraced fields cover the hill slopes and attest the industry of the inhabitants and the fertility of their mountains.
In some instances travelling belts or creepers have been adopted, which deliver the coal with a reduced amount of breakage, but this application is not common.
In the " bush " are found tufts of tall coarse grass with the space between bare or covered with herbaceous creepers or water-bearing tubers.
Besides the grass and the creepers the bush is made up of berry-yielding bushes (some of the bushes being rich in aromatic resinous matter), the wait-abit thorn and white thorned mimosa.
In the dense jungles of the south are immense creepers, some of them rubber-vines.
Among the indigenous trees are the Abies excelsa, Abies microsperma, Pinus sinensis, Pinus pinea, three species of oak, five of maple, lime, birch, juniper, mountain ash, walnut, Spanish chestnut, hazel, willow, hornbeam, hawthorn, plum, pear, peach, Rhus vernicifera, (?) Rhus semipinnata, Acanthopanax ricinifolia, Zelkawa, Thuja orientalis, Elaeagnus, Sophora Japonica, &c. Azaleas and rhododendrons are widely distributed, as well as other flowering shrubs and creepers, Ampelopsis Veitchii being universal.
Creepers, nuthatches, shrikes, and their allied forms, flycatchers and swallows, thrushes, dippers and babblers (about fifty species), bulbuls and orioles, peculiar types of redstart, various sylviads, wrens, tits, crows, jays and magpies, weaver-birds, avadavats, sparrows, crossbills and many finches, including the exquisitely coloured rosefinches, may also be mentioned.
Of the creepers, a crimson-berried variety is known as the pepper climber.
The sandhills on the verge of the ocean are carpeted with creepers and the wild convolvulus.
The vegetation is mostly of a tropical Indo-Malayan character - thick jungle with great trees covered with creepers and epiphytes.