Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community. It is found mainly in the U.S. state of California. Also in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. It is caused by a Mediterranean climate (mild, wet winters and hot dry summers) and wildfire.
A chaparral has summer drought-tolerant plants. They have hard sclerophyllous evergreen leaves. Chaparral covers 5% of the state of California. Of the associated Mediterranean shrubland, it covers an additional 3.5%. The name comes from the Spanish word chaparro, referring to scrub oaks.
There are four other chaparral regions in the world.
- parts of the Mediterranean coast, known as maquis
- Central Chile, known as matorral
- South African Cape, known as fynbos
- South Australia, known as kwongan
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Chaparral Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.