The vegetation in Šumava is a typical example of the Central European highlands, although it also has specific characteristics, especially provided by the relative proximity of the Alps. Šumava itself, except for small stretches of the foothills, is not brimming over with a variety of natural conditions. The flora is therefore somewhat uniform, diversified rather by anthropogenic than by natural influences.

The initial deposit into the Šumava phytogene pool began in ancient times in the Earth's geological past. It therefore corresponds with Central European vegetation, dictated by the location, range of altitudes, climate and climate changes throughout the centuries.


Regional Phytogeographic Division

The regional phytogeographic division accepts in particular the current flora composition, but also reflects wider vegetation and florogenetic relationships and the evolution of flora, including the effects of human activity. Based on this, it defines in the descending hierarchy the internally unified territorial units within the surrounding landscape.

From the phytogeographic point of view and in the context of broader relations, Šumava lies in the Central European flora temperate zone.

The territory surrounding Šumava and the lower altitudes of Šumava belong to the Phytogeographic Mezophyticum, which is characterized as an area of zoned Central European deciduous forest vegetation, occupying a submontane belt, with a slight oceanic climate with the transition into a moderate continental climate (depending on the climatic breakdown, there are individual, slightly warmer districts) .

Deviation from the described framework, due to the territory altitude division in Central Europe, relief, climate, or even due to the long-lasting impact of human activity on vegetation and flora composition, should be regarded as manifestations of extra zoning. In Šumava it is the extra zonal, cryophilic mountain flora - Oreophyticum which averts from the mesophyticum framework and in which, besides minor exceptions, are missing thermophilic species. The area consists of the montane up to supramontane band (and outside CR up to the subalpine band). From the climatic point of view, this is a cold area.

Mezophyticum in Šumava terms is characterised by the appearance of flowering beech and fir woods (Eu-Fagenion, Galio-Abietenion) and acidic piedmont beech wood (Luzulo-Fagion of the lower altitudes). In the submontane degree of Mezophyticum, the upper level of spread can be observed with for example the Mountain oak, lime ( Tilia cordata), bedstraw, banksias (Anemone hepatica), St John's wort, cabbage thistle, false-brome (Brachypodium pinnatum) , etc. and phytocoenoses of Arrhenatherion, Molinion, Hyperici perforati-Scleranthion perennis, Prunion spinosae, Bromion erecti , Alno-Ulmion (together with bird cherry and common alder).

Šumava Oreophyticum is characterized by a mixed spruce-fir-beech forest (Upper edge Eu-Fagenion, Luzulo-Fagion at higher altitudes), and climaxed, waterlogged spruce and fir woods (Piceion excelsae), oligotrophic lakes (Isoetion lacustris), ombrotrophic peat bogs (Sphagnion media, Leuk -Scheuchzerion), mountain meadows and pastures. In the montane degree of the Oreophyticum the upper level of the spread includes bog pine, fir, linden (Tilia platyphyllos), Scotch elm, wild rosemary, bluegrass (Poa remota), bog-bean (Menyanthes trifoliate), rampion (Phyteuma nigrum), Dentaria enneaphyllos, D. bulbifera, Milium effusum and numerous others. On the other hand, typical mountain species could be found, such as blue rocket (Aconitum napalleus), mountain sorrel, Athyrium distentifolium - a lady fern, Luzula sylvatica, Diphasiastrum alpinum, Pseudorchis albida - small white orchid, Šumava gentian, hard fern, Blechnum spicant , bluegrass (Poa chaixii), Pinus mugo and others. The mountain pastures (Nardion) represent a significant formation in the supramontane degree as well as the fragments of sub-alpine communities in the glacial lake cirques and in the springs.

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