Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community. It is found mainly in the U.S. state of California. Also in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. It is caused by a Mediterranean climate (mild, wet winters and hot dry summers) and wildfire.
A chaparral has summer drought-tolerant plants. They have hard sclerophyllous evergreen leaves. Chaparral covers 5% of the state of California. Of the associated Mediterranean shrubland, it covers an additional 3.5%. The name comes from the Spanish word chaparro, referring to scrub oaks.
There are four other chaparral regions in the world.
- parts of the Mediterranean coast, known as maquis
- Central Chile, known as matorral
- South African Cape, known as fynbos
- South Australia, known as kwongan
- Nancy Bauer, The California Wildlife Habitat Garden (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), p. 175
- William Skinner Cooper, The Broad-sclerophyll Vegetation of California: An Ecological Study of the Chaparral and its Related Communities (Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1922), p. 21
- "Hotspot; California on the Edge". California Academy of Sciences. 2005. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- Peter R. Dallman, Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates: California, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean Basin (Berkeley: University of California Press; Sacramento: California Native Plant Society, 1998). p. 67