Flora & vegetation
The Var region and Alpes-Maritimes area are the third most forested areas of France and are well known for their variety of pine trees. Best known and most obvious from its 'umbrella' shaped canopy is the stone pine (or umbrella pine). Other species include the maritime and aleppo pines.
All across the French Riviera there various notable trees that very much epitomise the Mediterranean climate, such as the cyrpress, lotus, fig, almond and oak.
The warm climate also makes it very easy for palm trees, aloes, olive, orange and lemon trees to grow. And of course an abundance of flowering trees, shrubs and bushes like the mimosa, jasmine, roses and carnations. The main place for orange and lemon trees is between Cannes, Antibes, Monaco and Menton. The latter in particular being very well known for their citrus production. Many of the cut flowers that you will find in the flower markets are grown around the Frejus and Antibes areas, however carnations and roses are mainly grown in Nice and Grasse areas, well known for their 'parfumerie's'.
The Greeks introduced the olive tree to Provence some 2,500 years ago. The Mediterranean climate is naturally excellent for the olive tree. It grows everywhere on slopes and in valleys up to a height of 600 metres. The harvest takes place in August and are mostly hand-picked before being processed into olive oil.
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