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United States

USA: political system

USA: political system

According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

United States of America

The US political system rests primarily on the following three pillars:

Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the American Constitution. They were passed by Congress on September 25, 1789 and ratified in 11 states. The now highly controversial carrying of weapons is also regulated in the Bill of Rights.

Constitution ( Constitution)

The American Constitution was designed by twelve former colonies on the Constituent Assembly in Philadelphia. It came into force in 1789 and, with a number of additions, is still valid today.

Declaration of Independence (Independence)

The Declaration of Independence is the true founding document of the United States and is considered an important state-theoretical work. It is kept in the National Archives in Washington.

In it the then 13 British colonies declared their separation from the English mother country and the right to found their own state. The declaration was made by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1823) from Virginia, John Adams (1735-1826) from Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) from Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingstone (1746-1813) from New York, and Roger Sherman Connecticut created. The actual author is considered to be Thomas Jefferson. The declaration of independence was decided on July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress, an assembly of delegates from the 13 colonies. The Continental Congress met between 1774 and 1789.

The USA has a federal system with very strong states that are independent in many political fields. There are a total of 50 states and the independent district of Washington DC (DC = District of Columbia), which are shown below with their area, population and capital.

Parties

In America there are only two parties that really play a role in the politics of the country. It's the more liberal Democrats and the very conservative Republicans. The donkey is the symbol of the Democrats and the elephant that of the Republicans. During the 1828 election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Jackson was referred to as a donkey (Jackass). Jackson went on the offensive and made the donkey his symbol. Jackson won the election in 1829 and was the 7th President of the United States until 1837. The animal only became really known in 1870 through the German cartoonist Thomas Nast, from whom the elephant as a symbol of the Republicans came from 1874. Here he drew a donkey in a lion costume, the numerous zoo animals, including an elephant with the inscription "

Executive, President

The head of state and government together, i.e. the head of the highest executive in the country, is the president, who is elected every four years on a Tuesday in early November. Re-election is only possible once. In the individual states, electors are elected according to the principle of "all or nothing", who in turn elect the president. The President appoints the ministers of his cabinet. The President is represented by a Vice-President who is elected together with him.

Most of the electors come from California with 55, followed by Texas with 34. Only a few - there are only three - are for example from Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota or Montana. All electors are assigned to the candidate who received the most votes in the respective state - even if it is only a few hundred more than the opponent's candidate. If there is a stalemate, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, which was the case in 1801 and Thomas Jefferson was elected at the time.

Legislative branch

The legislature, i.e. the legislative power, is the Congress. It consists of two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Every state sends two senators to the Senate, regardless of its population. This consists of 100 members. A third of the Senate's members are elected every two years.

The House of Representatives has had 435 members since 1913. MPs are elected in all 50 states, with the number of members elected in a state based on the percentage of its population as a percentage of the population. However, each state sends at least one representative. Washington DC, being not a state, can only send one elected, non-voting observer.

Judiciary

The Supreme Court of the USA with nine members monitors compliance with the law, its correct interpretation and the constitution. These are nominated by the President and appointed after a questioning and approval by the Senate. You will remain in office for life. Regardless of their age, they cannot be fired or retired. However, they can resign at their own request. For their part, the individual states also have supreme courts, which, however, are only competent for themselves.

All states

The data on the area and population of the US states vary slightly between the different sources. The following figures are from the US Department of State International Information Program as of 2007.

National anthem

The national anthem of a country is usually a piece of music underlaid with a text, which is intended to express the state, attitude to life or national feeling of a country. It is usually played on particularly festive occasions.

The introduction of the national anthems in most European countries goes back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The numerous former colonies that had become independent generally introduced their national anthems and also their national flags after independence, i.e. in the second half of the 20th century.

The national anthem of the USA has been "The Star Spangled Banner" since March 3, 1931. The music was taken from a drinking song popular in England, composed around 1800 by the organist and musician John Stafford Smith (1750-1836). The text is by Francis Scott Key (1780-1843). The reason for the poem was the following incident:

"On the night of September 14, 1814, the lawyer and poet Scott was on a prisoner exchange on board a British ship and witnessed the bombardment of the American Fort McHenry in Baltimore. When the bombardment stopped the next morning, he looked through binoculars the American flag is still flying over the fort. " This incident inspired him to write a poem - the later national anthem of the USA.

1.

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twillight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming!

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ?

2.

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, now shines on the stream:

'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

3.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

4.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

National flag

Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the national flag symbolizes certain historical developments or special characteristics of a country. Today every country has its own national flag, which is often supplemented by numerous other flags inside. The national flag of the USA is known as the "Star-Spangled Banner" or by its nickname "Stars and Stripes". It has seven red and six white stripes, which are supposed to symbolize the 13 founding states. The 50 white stars in the blue field on the mast side above represent the 50 states of the USA.

United States flag and coat of arms

USA: animals

Mammals - in the southwest

Most of the wildlife in the American Southwest are nocturnal, which is how they adapt to the severe drought in the region. Some mammals have acquired additional properties in order to save as much water as possible. The small pocket mouse and the Ord kangaroo rat, for example, take the water from their food (seeds etc.) and excrete the urine as a kind of highly concentrated paste.

Rodents are generally very widespread in this area, with chipmunks, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, rats and mice being the most common. The plants of the south-west also play a very important role for animals, for example the cactus mouse lives in fallen cacti and the pine mouse specializes in nut pine seeds.

Marmots are widespread in the Rocky Mountains and the tree porcupine prefers to live in wooded mountain regions. Whistling, donkey and mountain hares as well as the Audubon rabbit, which prefers open plains and wooded valleys, also live here.

One of the predators is the very rare puma, which lives in seclusion in rocky and mountainous areas. The bobcat is far more common, but it is very rare to find it, as it is nocturnal, like many other animals in the southwest.

The best known are the coyotes, which are represented in North America as well as in Canada and parts of Central America. Their coat color varies between yellow-brown and gray-brown, but the white throat and chest are typical. With a body length of approximately 1.10 m and a height of 50 cm, coyotes are smaller than wolves. They live in dense forests and on prairies where they hunt mice and rabbits. Birds and snakes as well as berries, fruits and also carrion are less on their menu.

Foxes and silver badgers live in the rocky mountains, and long-tailed weasels and spruce marten are also represented. In the parking lots of wooded national parks you can occasionally even come across the big-eared deer and red deer, Yellowstone National Park is known for its elk populations.

The skunk, also known as the spot skunk, is also common. It lives in forests, in city parks and can also be encountered in residential areas on the outskirts. This acquaintance can, however, quickly become unpleasant if the animal thinks it has to defend itself. The only thing that helps against the stinking secretion from his anal glands is a bath in tomato juice, if at all. If the secretion comes into contact with the mucous membranes, vomiting and headaches are possible consequences. Contact with the eyes can even cause temporary blindness.

Mammals - in the northwest

The fauna of the north-west differs only slightly from that of the south-west. Various rodent species such as ground squirrels, squirrels, mice and rats also predominate here.

The grizzly bears, however, make a significant difference. In contrast to the almost ubiquitous black bear, their populations are limited to the high mountain regions of the north and to the Glacier, North Cascades and Yellowstone national parks. The main differences to the black bears are the gray ("grizzled") outer hair and the distinctive shoulder hump. The grizzly also has a very strong sense of smell, so hikers must take certain precautionary measures in order not to attract the bears.

In contrast to the southwest, the white-tailed deer also occurs here, but is otherwise widespread throughout North America. The mule deer can be found in the west, and the elk deer, which is often mistaken for an elk because of its English name "elk", lives in the forests of the plateaus of the Rocky Mountains. The actual moose, in English "moose", live in swamps and the pasture thicket of the Rocky Mountains.

But is best known yet the Bison, which along with the prairie dogs and coyotes, the prairie inhabited.

One of the fastest animals in the world is the pronghorn (also known as the pronghorn antelope), which also lives on prairie areas in Montane, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. After their populations were already seriously endangered, they are rising again due to increasing protective measures.

Very rare and very shy is the puma, which lives in the mountain regions and is also known as the mountain lion. The Pacific Northwest is home to lynxes, which are still hunted for their fur, and the bobcats, which are far more common.

Bighorn and Dallshafe, as well as the white mountain goats, live in the high mountains.

Mammals - in the northeast

The populations of fur-bearing animals such as the lynx and the mink are only slowly recovering. Like foxes, martens and polecats, they live in inaccessible mountain regions. Widespread mammals include pocket mice and rats, squirrels and chipmunks, as well as marmots and rabbits.

The badger is said to be at home in the forests of New England again, and porcupines are also increasingly common.

In the mountains, white-tailed deer, mule deer and the large elk graze in the clearings, but they are very shy and therefore difficult to observe up close.

The beaver populations can easily be recognized by the beaver meadows and dams, while otters live by streams, rivers and lakes.

Mammals - in the southeast

In contrast to other regions of the USA, the white-tailed deer in the southeast of the country can only be found in individual retreat areas and in national parks. Also rare are the opossum, armadillos, the silver badger, foxes and the bobcat. On the other hand, raccoons and various types of squirrels are quite common. In remote areas there are said to still be pumas and panthers, and beavers, otters and muskrats feel particularly at home on rivers and lakes.

Amazing, but also very endangered animals live in shallow coastal waters and on watercourses. The manatees, also known as manatees, graze the underwater pastures here. They are slow, dark brown mammals with a characteristic spatulate caudal fin. The manatees have a small head with a very bulging upper lip and are short haired. They are diurnal, sociable, and often live in herds.

Reptiles - without snakes

Southwest

The poisonous Gila lizard is enormous and at least as dangerous. Chuckwallas, smooth lizards (skinks), racing lizards and iguanas are very common, of which the lattice-tailed, collared and desert barbed guans are best known.

The desert tortoises still living here are under strict nature protection.

Northeast

Marsh turtles, map turtles, vultures, musk and snapping turtles are quite common. However, you usually need a good eye to recognize them. Noteworthy are the spotted newts that live in the wetlands and the up to 20 cm tall bull frogs that are native to North America.

Southeast The

Mississippi alligator, up to 6 m long, is very numerous and lives in freshwater wetlands along rivers, lakes, swamps and marshland. The American crocodile, which is also known as the pointed crocodile, is much rarer. It lives secluded in brackish water areas that are difficult to access. Turtles have been largely driven from the beaches by tourists.

The most common amphibians include giant salamanders, tailed amphibians, various species of tree frog and the large bullfrog.

Snakes - not poisonous

Southwest

The widespread bull snake is adapted to many different types of vegetation; it can be found in deserts and semi-deserts as well as in mountainous landscapes and pine forests. The red coachman whip snake is also harmless and mostly lives in open terrain. Occasionally, however, they also occur in areas with sparse forests.

Northeast

Adders and otters are very numerous here.

Southeast

The harmless specimens include the yellow peanut snake and the garter snake, the latter being one of the most common snake species in the United States. It feels particularly comfortable in damp habitats such as lakes, rivers, streams and swamps. In the Florida Everglades, the idol snake (Boa constrictor) has spread massively and is a major threat to the local wildlife.

Poisonous animals - including poisonous snakes

Southwest

Various poisonous scorpion species live in the desert areas, but the tarantula also occurs here. It is one of the wolf spiders, grows 3 to 5 cm tall and is light brown in color with dark markings on its back. The nocturnal spider lives in caves and tree crevices. It is interesting that it does not catch its prey in the net, but rather actively hunts. Lizards and smaller rodents are then on the menu. The poison sting poses only a minor threat to humans, whereby the symptoms after a bite are almost always only expressed locally. There may be moderate to mild pain and local inflammation with redness, itching and swelling. The tarantula is also widespread in the Mediterranean region, the tropics, subtropics and in south-east Europe.

Much more dangerous, however, is the Gila lizard, which has its home in the Sonoran Desert. The lizard, known as the "Gila Monster" in English, has black and pink marbled markings and reaches an average length of 70 cm. Noticeable are its thick tail, which serves as a fat reserve, as well as its massive body. If the lizard is irritated or feels it When threatened, she first warns with a hiss, and if she thinks it is necessary she bites in. In contrast to a snakebite, it is then difficult to remove from the victim.

The poison is not life-threatening for humans, but the bite is described as very painful. In addition, the affected extremity swells, turns blue, and dizziness and fainting spells can continue to occur.

The poisonous snakes include the dangerous rattlesnake, of which there are several species in the southwest but which is common throughout North America, as well as various copperhead species and the Arizona coral snake, which can hardly be recognized in the colorful rock.

The red fire ant can be very dangerous for allergy sufferers. Your bite is not only very painful, but by injecting the poison into the bite site, a shock reaction can be triggered in allergy sufferers.

Southeast

The rattlesnake is widespread here, as practically in all of North America. Other snakes that are also poisonous are the water moccasin otters, which are particularly common in stagnant waters, the coral snake and the copper-headed snake.

The poison of the stingray found on the Gulf Coast is concentrated on the tip of its tail, which is covered with poisonous spines. Since stingrays like to bury themselves in the sand, they are often overlooked and in this way can be very dangerous for humans, as the poisonous sting can cause fatal injuries.

Insects, spiders

Red fire ant

One of the most dangerous insects is the red fire ant introduced from Brazil. It has spread in the southern United States and has become a major allergy trigger here.

Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas

Mosquitoes and biting flies are almost indispensable in the USA and are practically everywhere.

Mosquitoes are a real nuisance, especially in summer.

Brown recluse spider

The brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) occurs from the Midwest to the south of the USA. The spiders are between 6 and 20 mm in size and are brown or yellowish in color.

At first, a person who has been bitten hardly notices the bite. But after a few hours, pain sets in and it gets worse. Nausea, vomiting, cramps and muscle pain are also possible, and less often blood poisoning.

Necroses in the area of the bite site and even deaths occur

Southern black widow

The southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) is found in the southeastern United States and, since the 1920s, in Hawaii. The male spider grows to 4 to 7 mm and the female around 8 to 15 mm. The spider is usually black with red markings.

The consequences of a bite with an injection of a neurotoxin can include cramping abdominal pain and muscle pain that can last for days without treatment. Although the amount of poison injected is relatively small, children, the sick and the elderly can still die from it if they are not given an antiserum early enough

Northern Black Widow These

are found on the east coast of North America, from northern Florida to southeastern Canada. It lives in undisturbed forests, in tree stumps and on stone walls. The females are 9 to 11 mm long, the males, however, only 4 to 5 mm. The basic color of the females is black with a characteristic red mark on the abdomen of the abdomen.

The basic color of the males is also black, but they have four diagonal stripes on each side of the abdomen. Their venom is similar to that of the southern black widow.

Western black widow

The western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) is found in western blacks in the extreme southwest of Canada and across the western regions of the USA to Mexico. The spider is relatively common in the warmer areas of California, Arizona, and other western states.

The females are between 14 and 16 mm in length. The spider is mainly black in color and has a red spot on its back. The males, on the other hand, only grow to about 8 mm. Their color ranges from light brown to beige. There are three diagonal, pale stripes on the abdomen.

The bite is initially felt like a prick or not noticed at all. Local swelling and muscle cramps as well as nausea, vomiting and sweating, which can last for over 2 days, only occur after 2 to 3 hours.

Although the spider's venom is very strong, deaths are rare but not life-threatening.

Birds

Southwest

birds of prey are particularly common in the regions of the southwest, the most widespread being the prairie falcon, but black vultures, turkey vultures and golden eagles are also common. The latter can reach a wingspan of up to 2 m with a body length of 75–90 cm. In the order of birds of prey, it belongs to the eagle family.

The adult birds have a uniformly dark brown fur, with only the crown and the neck being golden yellow. The young birds have a large white field at the base of the hand wings and a white tail with a black band at the end. It feeds on smaller mammals such as marmots and mountain hares, but its main source of food is chamois and fawns. Other birds such as grouse are also on the menu.

Smaller birds include the three-color hummingbird, as well as the cactus wren and the crooked-billed mockingbird, both of which nest in opuntia (prickly pear cacti). The golden woodpeckers have also chosen a cactus, more precisely a saguaro, as their nursery. It is named after the golden-yellow underside of the bird, which is sprinkled with black dots.

The way-cuckoo, a flightless and very fast-running bird, was not only a model for the "Road Runner" in the Warner Brothers comic, but is also the state bird of New Mexico. Characteristic are its long legs and long tail as well as the short wings with which it can only stay in the air for a short time.

The most common species living in dry bush are the bush jay, helmet quail, lousiana strangler and various species of swallow.

Northwest

The bald eagle that lives in the mountainous regions is the heraldic animal and symbol of freedom of the USA. The most common are crows, blue jays, larks, rough-legged grouse, prairie falcons and black siskins. The widespread waterfowl include seagulls and terns as well as oystercatchers, cormorants and sandpipers.

Northeast

The bird world is very diverse, especially waterfowl such as swans, geese, ducks, gray and great egrets, great loons, which can be observed at the Great Lakes, as well as wild pigeons, grouse and pheasants. On the other hand, the American turkey, which is particularly well known as the main dish of the American national holiday “Thanksgiving”, is almost extinct.

Some of the birds found here are very familiar to Europeans in particular, because thrushes, wood warblers, snipe and woodpeckers are typical European species. The native birds of prey here include hawks, falcons and eagles.

Southeast

The avifauna is particularly rich in species in wetlands such as the Mississippi Delta and in Florida, where many of the birds come to breed. Herons, wood ibises, cranes, pink spoonbills as well as cormorants, woodpeckers, wood warblers, thrushes and wrens live here. The birds of prey do not differ much from those in other areas; buzzards, turkey vultures and barred owls also live here.

The Florida roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) reaches a size of up to 90 cm. Their backs are white, the wings and chest, on the other hand, have a strong red color. The long stilt legs are scarlet. Roseate spoonbills live in the warm and sunny wetlands of Florida, especially the Everglades. A special feature is that they pinch the alligators by the tail, which then stirs up the water, making it easier for the birds to get food.

Aquatic animals

In the coastal waters of Washington state, delicacies such as shrimp and oysters, clams and tuna, snapper and halibut cavort. The rivers and lakes are known for their rainbow trout and Atlantic sturgeon, while the Columbia River is a spawning area for salmon.

Northeast

The main fish species in the lakes are trout, salmon, perch, pike, carp and mudfish. Lake Ontario and Lake Erie both also carry paddlefish.

There are occasional species of whales and bottlenose dolphins along the New England coast, the coast being particularly known for the lobster.

Southeast

The Mississippi carries many different species of fish, including the bonefish weighing up to 120 kg, the paddlefish, mudfish, the bottom perch and the brook lamprey. The interesting thing about the brook lamprey is that it spends most of its life as a larva and is mainly devoted to feeding. After 3-4 years the larva will develop into the adult lamprey and at this stage it will focus on reproduction. Food is then no longer ingested.

Dolphins can be spotted quite often on the Gulf Coast, but there are also sharks and stingrays here, which can be dangerous to humans.

USA: plants

Interesting trees

The trees of the USA are shown by region in order to give a reasonably meaningful overview for visitors to the country. A breakdown by federal state would be more precise, but hardly readable because of the size.

Southwest

The vegetation of the southwest of the USA is heavily dependent on the water resources of the individual regions. The largest forests are in the Rocky Mountains, on both sides of the Grand Canyon and in the Bruce Canyon area.

The most dominant tree species are the pines.

While the Douglas fir, a very fast-growing type of pine that grows up to 100 m high and can be easily recognized by its conical crown, prefers humid locations in the high mountains, yellow pines grow in dry locations between 1800 and 2700 m.

Quivering aspen and larches have adapted to low mountain areas, and the rotary pine and the Engelsmann pine grow in subalpine terrain. The blue spruce is the state tree of Colorado and is found primarily in the Rocky Mountains.

Trees that are particularly well adapted to the drought are found in the highlands of Arizona. These include oaks, Mexican stone pines as well as Douglas firs, yellow pines and quivering poplars.

The giant sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) grow in the Sierra Nevada in California at altitudes between 1,500 and 2,500 m and occur only in 72 "groves" with a total area of 14,570 hectares.

Most of the groves, and also the largest, are located in Yosemite National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984), in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park and in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, where trees are named "General Sherman", "Washington" "General Grant", "President" and "Lincoln" are located.

The General Sherman tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum) has a height of around 84 m and a circumference of 24 m at a height of 1.50 m. It is not the highest, but with a wood volume of approx. 1,447 km³ it is the most voluminous tree in the world. Many of these trees were felled earlier. But for some time these trees have been placed under strict protection and are mostly within the national parks of the USA and/or the state parks of California

Northwest

The two most forested states in the northwest are Washington and Oregon. Typical for this region are spruces, cedars, hemlock and silver firs, Douglas firs and yellow pines, which occur mainly in lower elevations. Coniferous forests with spruce, pine and fir trees cover the mountain regions, with pines growing in loose stands at higher altitudes. Noteworthy are coastal redwoods, which grow worldwide exclusively along the Pacific coast in a 50 km wide coastal strip between San Francisco and southern Oregon.

In the Redwood National Park you can admire the largest population of these trees, here is also the tallest known tree in the world, the "Hyperion" (Sequoia sempervirens) with a height of around 115.60 m. The reddish wood of the coastal redwoods is characteristic, what also brought them the English name "Redwood" (Rotholz).

Northeast

The Northeast is a very wooded region of North America with maple and chestnut forests in the sunny locations of the Appalachian Mountains and beeches with a preference for rather shady locations.

In the southern lowland regions of the Great Lakes there is a variety of trees such as beech, birch, hemlock and sugar maple. Yellow poplars grow on floodplains and wet lowlands. The hickory forest belt of the southern Appalachian plateau is remarkable, where, in addition to hickory trees, there are also oak, elm, ash and tulip trees. The latter are the largest deciduous trees in North America with a height of 60 m and are the state trees of Kentucky and Tennessee. The Indian Summer in New England is particularly worth seeing in late summer and early autumn, when the forests take on a radiant, autumnal, orange-red color.

Southeast

In the northern part of the south the flora differs little from that of the northeast. The Piedmont region is mainly characterized by mixed forests of oak, pine, red cedar, hickory, pecan and walnut trees. However, the forests of the southeast are heavily burdened by the deforestation. Typical for the south is the 12 to 15 m high live oak, which can be found mainly in the states of South Carolina, Georgia and North Florida. In Georgia, the tree, also known as the Virginia oak, is the state tree.

Their spreading crown, which sits on a relatively short trunk, is characteristic. In mostly humid and frequently flooded regions such as the Mississippi Valley and the wetlands of Alabama, Florida and Georgia, cypress trees have invaded the habitat. The characteristic plant of the "Old South", however, is the magnolia, which is also the state plant of Louisiana and Mississippi. The further south you go, the more often you will find palm trees, especially towards Florida the vegetation changes noticeably.

Here sabal palms form the substructure of sparse pine forests, and in Florida itself, dwarf palms, date, coconut and royal palms determine the landscape. The latter has a silver-colored trunk and can grow up to 30 m high. But here there are also, like Lousiana, grasslands and wetlands with tropical plants.

The "hammocks", so-called hardwood tree islands in wetlands and pine forests, where oaks, magnolias, palms and mahogany are among the trees, are known. In the very south of Florida there are mangrove forests that can be recognized immediately by the aerial and stilt roots of the trees.

Crops

Southwest

The hard wood of the mesquite bush is often used for furniture construction or as firewood for barbecues. The dried beans are processed into flour, which is then used as the basis for jellies. Mesquite wine is made from fermented beans.

Northwest

fruit growing is particularly intense in Oregon and the Columbia Plateau, and spring wheat is grown in the upper Missouri.

Northeast

The sugar maple is an important crop in many respects, not only because of its wood, which is often used for floors and woodturning, but especially because of the maple syrup. To do this, the tree trunk is drilled and the pipelines can be used to extract the maple sap, which is then processed into the sweet maple syrup and is always included in a typical American breakfast. The tulip tree not only has an important forestry importance as the plant that reintroduces a mixed tree population after a forest fire or clear cut, but also plays an important role in the timber industry. Its excellent wood is often used in furniture and boat building. Growing corn, beans, pumpkin,

Southeast In the

past, the cultivation of cotton was given far greater importance than is the case today. Due to the competition with modern synthetic fibers and pest infestation, cultivation is only concentrated in a few areas in South Carolina and Georgia. Like the cultivation of peanuts, tobacco growing has a long tradition. Soybean cultivation and rice cultivation are relatively young. In the far south, on the lower Mississippi and in Florida, there are sugar cane fields. The state of Georgia is famous for its peaches, and Florida has made a name for itself as an exporter of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, mandarins, lemons, and tangerines.

Medicinal plants

Southwest

The creosote bush is a traditional Mexican medicinal plant that is used both as an antibiotic, as well as for rheumatism, stomach problems, high blood pressure and bronchitis. More recent studies have even awarded it an anti-carcinogenic effect, since the active ingredients of the plant have shrunk tumors in numerous test runs.

Southeast

The medicinal plants include the sabal palm, which is native to North Africa as well as Florida. An extract is obtained from its deep purple to black fruits that alleviates prostate problems. In North American folk medicine, the fruits were also used for violent coughs, bronchitis, gonorrhea, urinary bladder infections and to stimulate digestion. The cypress also has healing properties, the essential oil extracted from the branches and leaves has a disinfecting and antispasmodic effect, is said to lower fever and calm the nervous system. The cypress oil from leaves, shoots and fruits is used in homeopathy. The bitter bark of magnolia is used throughout North America as a remedy for intermittent fever.

More plants

Southwest

Typical of the dry landscapes between the large mountain ranges are xerophytes, plants that are particularly well adapted to permanent water shortages and have developed various possibilities for water storage. These include, for example, very small, missing leaves or leaves that have been transformed into thorns, a wax layer on the green plant organs that protects against evaporation, water storage in individual plant organs such as the trunk and very deep roots. Numerous cacti grow here, the most common are the organ pipe cactus, the prickly pear and the saguaro.

The latter reaches heights of up to 12 m, making it the largest cactus in North America. In the USA, the best-known specimens are in the Sonoran Desert, a border area between Arizona and Mexico, where a sanctuary for the cactus species has even been established, the Saguaro National Park. The cactus is also of particular importance as a nesting place for the woodpeckers who build their nests in the trunks. A large area of the south-west is covered by the dry bush, which consists of juniper, nut pine, grama grass and juniper bushes.

With increasing drought, the amount of mesquite and creosote bushes also increases. The latter have such an effective root system that absorbs the last drop of water in the vicinity that no plants can survive nearby and even their own seeds are unable to germinate. Therefore, the creosote bush multiplies by forming new stems and eventually reaching the shape of a ring. Utah is home to the Utah juniper and seaweed, from which the so-called "Mormon tea" is made. In the Great Plains there is the short-grass steppe with a predominant population of grama grass and buffalo grass. The drier the region, the more often you will find mugwort plants and the sagebrush. Typical of the semi-deserts in the south are different types of yucca such as the Joshua Tree (Joshua tree),Arizona and Southern California occurs. The name was given to the up to 15 m tall trees by the Mormons, who were reminded of the Old Testament popular leader Joshua.

Northeast

The most striking plant on the seashore and the shores of the Great Lakes is sea mustard, which occurs most frequently on the sandy beaches in front of the main dunes and, with its roots, makes an important contribution to the fortification of the dunes. Tall grasses are also very dominant here and also have a coastal protection function. Other typical plants in this region are coastal heather, mosses and lichens.

Southeast

Azaleas, camellias, mimosas, forsythias, Bethunias and jasmines are also common. Grasses, sedges, ferns and lianas are typical of the southern regions of the southeast, but orchids also grow here. In swamp areas, different types of reeds, sedge, rushes, water lilies and water hyacinths dominate the vegetation.

Poisonous plant

One of the poisonous plants of the southern USA is the columbine, which is a typical high mountain flower and preferably grows above the tree line. The poison causes skin irritation and blistering when touched, and consuming large quantities of fresh leaves can lead to shortness of breath, heart problems and cramps.

 

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