flora in the western part of this province, in the Sierra del Turquino
mountain range, is notorious due to its high degree of endemism.
There are notable changes as to floral composition having to do
with the altitude or location in the north or south slopes. By the
littoral one can find the coastal heath, which is substituted by
the dry one in higher zones. As the slopes go up, the low altitude
pluvial wood appears (400 m, 1312 ft); then the sub-mountain
one (400-800 m, 1312-2624 ft); followed by the mountain wood (800-1600
m, 2624-5248 ft), having a notable richness of flowers and species
like the Sabina (Juniperus saxicola). From the 1600 m (5248 ft)
up one can enjoy the splendor of the arborescent ferns of the cloudy
forest and, finally, over the 1900 m (6232 ft) the mountains reveal
the peculiarity of the cool forest, having dwarfed twisted trunks
inhabited by epiphytes, moss, and other hygrophilous species.
In the eastern zone of the Sierra Maestra, vegetation is relatively
varied with presence of dry forests in the far northeastern end
of the Sierra de la Gran Piedra, at heights from 360 to 560 m (1181
to 1837 ft); and in the eastern part of the (400-800 m, 1312-2624
ft);, south from the hill of Santa María, at heights from
400 to 600 m (1312 to 1968 ft).
Out of the natural vegetation, the most abundant is the sub-mountain
evergreen perennially foliate wood (400-800 m, 1312-2624 ft), present
in the Baconao river upper basin as well as in the Sigua brook upper
basin. In addition, great surfaces of coniferous woods can be observed,
dominated by the presence of the skyscraper pine (Pinus maestrensis),
in the elevated summits of the Sierra de la Gran Piedra.
In the Santiago de Cuba plain, wild vegetation is poor owing to
the absence of natural woods, the action of men derived from the
closeness of a big city, and the substitution of natural spaces
by urban and suburban systems.
In coastal zones at both sides of the bay, there are some endemic
plant species associated to high coasts with rocky and sandy soils.