Orchids & Rhododendrons

Nepal, a wilderness paradise, has much to offer apart from the high snow capped mountain range. It has magnificent rich and varied fauna and flora owing to the diverse topography and to a wide range altitude and climatic zones.

Thus, making it one of the most important destinations for nature lovers on this planet.

Nepal has a rich heritage of nature and wildlife. As worship of nature formed an essential part of ancient religion, the wanton destruction was virtually unknown until recent times. Fortunately, local people have begun to appreciate towards all form of life and for the conservation of the wildlife resources; to protect the unique ecosystem, to provide recreational opportunities and scientific studies some national parks and wildlife reserve have been established.

These National Parks and Reserves are located in the Terai Plain, mid-land and in the high Himalayan region and they are fascinating as they support varieties of flora and fauna as well as human inhabitation. Nature has certainly blessed upon Nepal. The glories and grandeurs of enchanting scenery presented by green forests, a panorama of the high mountain range, over- flowing glacial rivers and crystal clear lakes.
Nepal still can boost of her rich and varied fauna and flora.

In the spring time, the mountains and hills are alive with flaming blooms of rhododendron and other beautiful wildflowers, turning the countryside into an Eden garden. The world abounds with some 500 to 600 genera and some 20,000 to 35,000 names, the largest of all plant families, and out of this, Nepal has 57 genera (27 Terrestrials and 30 Epiphytic) with few Lithophytes. Widespread into different ecological zones, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the plains of the Terai, the orchid – world in Nepal is immensely interesting for nature lovers and horticultural experts. Nepal is indeed endowed with an incredible variety of orchids scattered all over the Himalayan Kingdom. Dendrobium is the largest species, followed by Habenaria and Bulbophyllum. Anthogonium, Hemipilia and Lusia are some of the other varieties amongst the nearly two dozen single species families. According to Mr.Kevin White,a veteran naturalist from Australia an orchid expert; out of thousands of species of orchids in the world, more than 600 species of orchids are found along the Himalayan range and within the kingdom of Nepal. Mr. Kevin White has also discovered one of the rarest species orchid, named "The Dancing Daffodil" (Dendrobium Churia) in the lowlands of the Siwalik (churia) hills.

No destination in Nepal is devoid of orchids including most of the trekking routes, and near Kathmandu, the areas to visit are the Godavari Botanical Gardens to the south, Sundarijal to the north-east, Nagarjun to the west and Dhulikhel to the east.

You will find orchids at one or more of these areas all year round, except late November to mid-February.

Rhododendron- National flower of Nepal.

 Rhododendron or Laligurans (which is a national flower of Nepal) can grow up to 30m tall and will often cover entire mountainsides with its flowers when it blooms from late February to April.

 

Yellow Rhododendron in Everest region of Nepal. 

Yellow Rhododendron in Everest region of Nepal.

 
(This blog was cordially written by "Veteran Adventurer" Suresh Yonjan a.k.a Damche Dai)

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