These outer slopes are clothed with dense forest and jungle, composed chiefly of junipers and Podocarpus, and between 8000 and 9800 ft.
Are reached in places, and in all the upper parts of this table-land there is fairly abundant vegetation, grass and herbage with low junipers, but with no pine trees.
Next come the junipers, sometimes attaining the size of trees (Juniperus excelsa, rufescens and, with fruit as large as plums, J.
(3) Into the alpine region (6200 to 10,400 ft.) penetrate a few very stunted oaks (Quercus subalpina), the junipers already mentioned and a barberry (Berberis cretica), which sometimes spreads into close thickets.
Cottonwoods flourish along the Little Missouri river, and in sheltered ravines grow stunted junipers and cedars, which seldom rise above the crest of some protecting bluff.
Pines of three species, junipers, larches, oaks, maples, willows and the Thuja Orientalis have been identified.
Abies smithiana extends into Afghanistan; Abies webbiana forms dense forests at altitudes of 8000 to 12,000 ft., and ranges from Bhutan to Kashmir; several junipers and the common yew (Taxus baccata) also occur.
Among the many varieties of trees and plants found are the date palm, mimosa, wild olive, giant sycamores, junipers and laurels, the myrrh and other gum trees (gnarled and stunted, these flourish most on the eastern foothills), a magnificent pine (the Natal yellow pine, which resists the attacks of the white ant), the fig, orange, lime, pomegranate, peach, apricot, banana and other fruit trees; the grape vine (rare), blackberry and raspberry; the cotton and indigo plants, and occasionally the sugar cane.
In the junipers the scales become fleshy as the seeds ripen, and the individual scales fuse together in the form of a berry.
At higher altitudes, however, the moisture increases and scattered junipers begin to appear.
The junipers, of which there are twenty-five or more species, are evergreen bushy shrubs or low columnar trees, with a more or less aromatic odour, inhabiting the whole of the cold and temperate northern hemisphere, but attaining their maximum development in the Mediterranean region, the North Atlantic islands, and the eastern United States.
They thus differ considerably from the cones of other members of the order Coniferae, of Gymnosperms, to which the junipers belong.