type of vegetation that has hard leaves, short internodes and leaf orientation parallel or oblique to direct sunlight

Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation which has hard leaves and short internodes (the distance between leaves along the stem). The word comes from the Greek sclero (hard) and phyllon (leaf).

Fynbos in South Africa

Sclerophyllous plants occur in many parts of the world.[1] They are shaped by a Mediterranean climate, with mild, wet winters and long hot dry summers. Wildfires often occur. These conditions feature summer drought-tolerant plants with hard sclerophyllous evergreen leaves,

This kind of climate occurs in:

  1. The Americas, in the chaparral biomes
    1. Californian woodlands
    2. Chilean Matorral
  2. Australia, this type of biome occurs throughout western (Perth), eastern (Sydney) and southern (Adelaide) areas.[2]
  3. Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome that cover the Mediterranean Basin
  4. Cape Province of South Africa.


  1. Hogan, C. Michael 2010. Leather Oak, Quercus durata. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC
  2. "Sydney Coastal Dry Sclerophyll Forests". NSW Environment & Heritage. Retrieved September 17, 2012.