In the Southern Sierra Madre, the " oyamel " and " ocote pine are the giants of the forest, sometimes rising to a height of 100 ft.
Oaks are everywhere common and the " ocote " pine on the Gulf coast is found as far down as 6300 ft.
Above this belt the firs gradually disappear and are succeeded by the shortleaved Pinus montezumae, or Mexican " ocote " - one of the largest species of pine in the republic. These continue to the upper tree-line, accompanied by red and purple Pentstemon and light blue lupins in the open spaces, some ferns, and occasional masses of alpine flowers.
The forests consist of several species of evergreen and deciduous oaks, " oyamel " (Abies religiosa), the arbutus or strawberry tree, the long-leaved Pinus liophylla and the short-leaved " ocote " or Pinus montezumae and the alder, with an undergrowth of elder (Sambucus mexicana), broom and shrubby heath.
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