Bhutan District - Flora




Bhutan is a botanist’s paradise. One of the ancient names given to Bhutan was 'Southern Valley of Medicinal Herbs. It supports a great variety of plants, ranging from tropical species in the south to alpine tundra in the Himalayan regions in the north. An astonishing array of plants grow in Bhutan: over 5000 species, including 300 species of medicinal plants and over 50 species of rhododendron. More than 600 species of orchids are found here. The richness of flora makes Bhutan one of the most attractive places to admire the beauties of nature. The wealth of floral variety includes rhododendrons, junipers, magnolias several metres high, carnivorous plants, rare orchids, blue poppy, edelweiss, gentian, and medicinal plants. Daphne, giant rhubarb, high altitude plants, tropical tress, pine and oak are also found in Bhutan.

Subalpine and Alpine

Between the tree line and the snow line at about 5500m are low shrubs, rhododendron, Himalayan grasses and flowering herbs. Junipers are found in a dwarfed form at altitudes over 4000m. Their distinctive foliage, short procely needles and fleshy, berry like fruit, should be unmistakable. Also in this region are lichens, mosses and alpine flowers such as the tiny rhododendron, nivale, edelweiss and varieties of primula.

Blue Poppy

Bhutan's national flower is the blue poppy. It's a very delicate flower that can grow to be about three feet tall, is found on rocky mountain terrain above tree line, and blooms only once. Bhutan has 13 types of Blue poppy of which one is endemic to Bhutan. The meconopsis superba is found in Halakyula, Haa and the flowers are white in colour. This poppy is said to be one and a half metres tall and a plant has an average of about 30 flowers according to the society.

Useful Trees & Shrubs

The east Himalayan fir is used for roofing shingles and its leaves have medicinal properties. The bowls that are used in Bhutan are made from burs of a variety of trees, including maple. Birch is used for the carved wooden blocks used to print Buddhist texts. The national tree is the weeping cypress, which is valued as timber and for producing incense. Oak is used extensively for firewood.