Just like the fauna to which it is closely linked, the flora is also very diverse.
Between forests, ponds and grasslands, the region is home to no fewer than 5,800 plant species which include flowering plants (1,350 species), fungi (2,700), mosses (460), trees (80) and around a thousand types of algae and lichens.
As with the fauna, the greatest diversity of flora can be found in the forests. They consist of around 45% oaks, 40% Scots pines, 10% beeches, and 5% other species, of which there are about 70. Among the latter you will find the common juniper, the service tree of Fontainebleau, the common medlar, the white birch, the sycamore maple (or 'false plane tree'), the common ash, the European spindle, the common yew and the Malus apple tree, among others.
If you are lucky and are visiting in the autumn, you may find a few horn-of-plenty, boletus or chanterelle mushrooms to take home for your omelettes or to serve up in fricasses.
Of all the plant species you may encounter, six are protected nationally and around fifty or so regionally. This is notably the case of the asplenium billotti, a fern which is listed as endangered and protected, as well as the utricularia australis or bladderwort (a carnivorous plant which lives in ponds and wet soil) and the common polytrichum (which is the largest moss in Europe, measuring around 16 inches).
Nature can be found even in the most urban of settings.© Anky / 123RF
The abundance of forests and green spaces in the Île-de-France region makes autumn a delightful season for mushroom hunters.© ellirra / 123RF
The Bagatelle park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris. Located at the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, it is open during the week and at the weekend.© René Mattes
Bagatelle is known for its rose garden and the international rose contest that takes place here, but it also has many theme gardens.© MATTES Rene