August 24, 2007

Rhododendron : Flowers found in Bhutan

Rhododendron is derived from "Greek: rhodos, "rose", and dendron, "tree" is a genus of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. It is a large genus with over 1000 species and most have showy flower displays. It includes the plants known to gardeners as azaleas.

The Rhododendron is an interesting genus characterized by shrubs and small to large trees (rarely), the smallest species growing to 10-20 cm tall, and the largest, R. arboreum, reported to 50 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged; leaf size can range from 1-2 cm to over 50 cm, exceptionally 100 cm in R. sinogrande. They may be either evergreen or deciduous. In some species the underside of the leaves are covered with scales or hairs. Some of the best known species are noted for their many clusters of large flowers. There are alpine species with small flowers and small leaves, and tropical species such as subgenus Vireya that often grow as epiphytes.

There are plenty of species found in the Bhutan but the most popular species is the alpine species which is bluish/pink color which are plenty found in the high altitude of Bhutan. If you are on a trek in Bhutan towards the Jumolhari, you will encountered with plentyful but during the blossom season. In Bhutan rhododendron are found in places like Bumthang, Haa and other higher altitude.

The Country and States which adopted Rhododendron as their National Flower are :

  • Nepal.
  • Sikkim in India.
  • West Virginia, and is in the Flag of West Virginia.
  • Washington

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