Plants That Live in Forests

Forests are home to many different animals and plants. They are a rich ecosystem that provides the right conditions for many different species. The trees provide a canopy that gives shelter and shade. Many of the plants in the forest are low lying and thrive off the moist conditions and decaying undergrowth.

Carpet Moss

Carpet moss is an evergreen moss that can frequently be found at the base of trees in woodland areas. It is golden to dark green and has a velvet texture. The plant prefers partial shade and well-drained, moist soil. It typically will not get much bigger than 4 inches tall. Carpet moss spreads quickly and carpets the ground, which is how it gets its name.

Lady Fern

Lady fern is a deciduous perennial that has leaves that grow as long as 3 1/2 feet and nearly 1 foot wide. It prefers indirect sunlight and moist soil conditions. This plant is often used in hanging baskets but can be found growing in the wild in deciduous forests in North America and Eurasia. The fronds are light green in color and provide a valuable food source to many different animals, such as grizzly bears and elk. It is quick growing and is often invasive in the wild.


Bougainvillea is a flowering perennial that is native to South America. It blooms in the summer and has brightly colored flowers in pink, magenta, orange, red, white and purple. It is often used in hanging baskets and flower pots and can grow as high as 4 feet. Bougainvillea prefers moist climates with partial sun and can often be found growing in the wild in rainforests.

Northern Arrowwood

Northern arrowwood is a flowering perennial that can be found at the base of deciduous forests. It has heart-shaped, spiky leaves that are approximately 4 inches long and 3 inches across. The plant blooms from May to June with small, white flowers. Northern arrowwood produces a small, black, round fruit that is about 1/2 inch in diameter. It is a popular food for deer and small wildlife.

Keywords: forest plants, plants in forest, types of plants

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.