Flora of Albania

Despite being small, Albania is rich in biodiversity. Only a small part of the land is completely without vegetation and about 1/3 of the country is heavily forested. An estimated 3,000 species of plants grow in Albania. According to the European environment agency, Albania can be divided into roughly three ecoregions: the Illyrian deciduous forests, Pindus Mountains mixed forests and Dinaric Alpine mixed forests. 

ILLYRIAN DECIDUOUS FORESTS

ILLYRIAN DECIDUOUS FORESTS

Illyrian deciduous forests, found throughout the Balkan Peninsula and in Eastern Mediterranean regions, stretch along Albania’s Adriatic and Ionian coasts. At higher altitudes, the most common plants are various conifers, such as Norway spruce, silver fur, and European black pine. The broadleaf and deciduous European beech can be found as well at higher altitudes intermixed among these conifers. Meanwhile, broadleaves are much more common at lower altitudes. In Albania various species of deciduous oaks and marquis shrubs compose most of the lowland and coastal flora. 

PINDUS MOUNTAIN MIXED FORESTS

PINDUS MOUNTAIN MIXED FORESTS

Exclusively found in mountainous Balkan regions, the Pindus Mountain mixed forests of Albania make up the country’s easternmost region, mainly along the border of Greece. Many of the same species of plants grow in this region as in the Illyrian forests. Black pines are once again common, along with the European beech at high elevations. Lower elevations are home to old friends such as deciduous oaks. However, these lower regions are also much more diverse, containing various juniper trees, deciduous chestnuts, and Palestine and Kermes oaks. In contrast with the Illyrian forests, which can be found from the mountains to the coast, the Pindus Mountain mixed forests are entirely landlocked. 

DINARLIC ALPINE MIXED FOREST

DINARLIC ALPINE MIXED FOREST

As its name suggests, the Dinaric Alpine forest grows exclusively in the northern regions of Albania. Once again the conifer regions in these forests are dominated by conifers like Norway spruce, silver fur, and European black pine, with a smattering of the European beech. Austrian and Hungarian oaks are also common, as is the Oriental hornbeam.