Friday, April 24, 2015

Flora of Nepal

My most precious capture, the Blue Gentian. Very tiny that if you don't really look down, you won't find it. This is the reward of my slow climb up Dhampus village with Awang. Yeay!!!

In paradise, there are beautiful gardens and rivers flowing underneath it. It's been described many times in the Quran that heaven is a place so beautiful beyond our imagination; green in colour with gardens and rivers. In Arabic, heaven is 'jannah' which also means 'garden'. And what is a garden without its flowers. Of course flowers wither and in its place, there are fruits and from fruits, there are seeds, and from seeds there are new lives. The cycle continues until appointed time on Earth but in 'jannah', it is for eternity. The fruits are of the best kinds, in pairs created for the pleasure of the residence of jannah.

Yellow Flax or Golden Girl Flower found along the cliffs at the roadside as well as on treks going up to Sarangkot. One might mistaken it for Dancing Lady Orchid as it looks almost like it. 

This posting is dedicated to the flowers I stumbled upon my travelling in Nepal. It took me so long to write this one particular posting because a subject so close to my heart. It has to be perfect. I noticed many blooms along the way up towards the highland villages. The species and its beauty will be shared here as best as I could manage. Though I am not a botanist by profession, I am one at heart. Throughout the years, I have developed a habit of taking photos of plants and flowers, studying them in various means and ways, surrounding myself with world of plants and I have made a living out of these knowledge too. I am living my passion and loving it!

Yellow Himalayan Raspberry. Yup edible and only if I've known it during the discovery, I would've eaten it too. Huhuhu...

I repeat, yes... what is a garden without its flowers. Surely these fragile creations that wither in such a short lifespan are a glimpse of heaven for us to wonder. A bliss of senses. A perfume of delight and loveliness. Such a gentle existence that coexist with the rest of us animals and human beings. A world of knowledge that makes me wonder.

Marigold, one of the most commonly grown ornamental plants in Nepal

I am a sucker for all things green but more crazy I am for all things flowers. A sight of it is enough dose of endorphins for me. You call it, happiness and stress reliever especially for the ladies. Men should have known this a long time ago. Many a poet and artist get their inspiration from flowers. Such as the famous Vincent Van Gogh Sunflowers painting. 

"After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world". ~ Christian Dior

Red Cestrum, a tubular flower type, found in Greenland Guest House, Dhampus

Flowers and its wisdom. If you noticed, most flowers are bright and striking in comparison from its surrounding. This is natures intelligent to attract pollinators. Not just pollinators, us human beings too are atWe find Fibonacci number sequence in most flowers that bloom from a spiral middle. The number sequence is 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on. These phenomena is explained as nature's way of managing its efficiency in filling up spaces in one flower. You may find this easier to understand when you look it up in the sun flower for an example. It has the most obvious and easy to notice Fabonacci Spiral. Well, I am not going to discuss it here as many have known this. It's just an example of what nature could offer to the curious minds.

Pot Marigold/Common Marigold/Garden Marigold, found in Greenland Guest House, Dhampus. Planted as an ornamental plant around the guest house. Very beautiful and striking in colour.

Not all flowers follow Fabobacci spiral rules. Nature has its own supreme set of own rules, i.e. the Creator. Number of petals varies depending on the species. You may stumble upon a one-petal flower such as the Calla Lily, the two-petal flower such as the Crown of Thorns, a three-petal flower such as the Walking Iris, four-petal flowers such as the Radish flower you see in the picture and the Peacock Flower too has only four petals. There are five-petal flowers such as the Periwinkle and six-petal flowers such as the Amazon Lily, Tiger Lily and most lilies are. Some petals are arranged in many levels. Some have a corolla that are joined together to form a tube such as the Morning Glory.   These are just a few examples. 

Crown of Thorns, a two-petal flower found in abundance along the trek up Dhampus Village at a higher elevation.

Determining the morphology of plants can be a tedious process. It took me so long to write this posting because of this. I had to ensure the correct name and species. Many aspects of a plant had to be carefully studied. Plants have a vegetative (root, stem and leaf) and reproductive (flower, fruit and seed) organs, the study will take account of the physical features, arrangements, and relations of each organ, the shoot (above the ground part) and the root system (below the ground part) as well. Then all these information will be compared to a taxon (plants database) to match the genus of species. The more you are exposed to species of plants, this process become easier and more familiar. It cuts the process short.

Daikon Radish flower left in the field to mature for its pods which are edible too. The four-petal flowers are beautiful indeed.

Apart from admiring this fine creation, namely plants and flowers, sometimes my curious mind will wander on what it could do to us. My late Mom had a great fascination towards usage of plants and flowers as an alternative medicine. She went to great length to discover rare plants and flowers and experimenting it with us. I regret not fully gather all her knowledge in the usage of herbs. However, all are not lost because I took after her. Still learning and practising whatever I know up to present time.

White Melastoma/Senduduk Putih, found on a trekk going up to Dhampus village. It has many medicinal values as known by Asians.

From time immemorial, civilisations have known the usage of plants and flowers and have incorporated it in their everyday lives. In many culture flowers play important part in spiritual rites. Such us in Buddhism and Hinduism. Flowers are an everyday offerings. In alternative medicine, flowers have been used for healing, cleansing and enhancement of aura. It has been used for bathing rituals in many cultures across the world. Reason being, flowers have many colours, distinct fragrance and character.  We can identify a flower simply by these traits.  

In Nepal, you may find lots of this yellow field of Mustard Plants. It's everywhere cultivated for its oil.

My trip to Nepal has definitely given me some satisfaction as I had managed to kill two birds with one stone. I got to satisfy my wanderlust and I had my plant list broaden for a tiny bit. The Blue Gentian flower was the winner of all. It was very precious. I feel happy to have discovered it in between the rocks.

This is the National Flower of Nepal. The crimson-colour Rhododenron. You may see this a lot in spring, as far as the eyes can see. Beautiful!

I had never seen a Rhododenron before and it was a great pleasure to see it aplenty in Nepal as its National Flower. It's beautiful and majestically grown in all the highlands. They are many colours, from red, yellow, pink and white. However it was not yet the blooming time of Spring. I will ensure to capture Rhododendron in all its glorious colours during my next trip to Gokyo. InsyaAllah...

The Nasturtium or Indian Cress or Monks Cress. It is edible from its leaf to its flower. Simply gorgeous colour. It's called simrik colour in Nepali.

We took Simrik Airlines from Kathmandu to Pokhara. I asked the guide, Ganesh to explain what does simrik means. He explained that its a kind of colour. And the colour is described as crimson red such as seen in the Nasturtium/Monk Cress flower above :)

Wheat is also one of the main crops in Nepal. Found this grown randomly in between the Daikon Radish and Green Peas plants in Sarangkot. 

It was also my first time to see the Wheat Plant. Very delighted I was. Like a child. Wheat was not our main crop in Malaysia, therefore we only see white flour not the plants. Hahaha!

Japanese Cedar, found in Sarangkot Sherpa Guest House. 

I got fascinated with this pine cones such as pictured above. Things like this makes me happy. Simply that.

The purple Billygoat Weed. We found it in an abundant field in Sarangkot. So beautiful still.

We went further to the abundant field in Sarangkot and found the unattended field was covered with colourful wild flowers. Such as the Purple Billygoat Weed pictured above. In quantity, it was a sight to behold. Beautiful in colour itself.

Behold the Pearly Everlasting Flower. So true to its name. This one was a dry one but look at it, so everlasting in bloom. Amazing!

This Pearly Everlasting Flower reminded me of the Bunga Cinta I once found in Mount Rinjani. It's everlasting even after all its leaves withered but the flowers remained beautiful. I think that's how it has gotten the name. Pearly white and everlasting :)

The Mexican Daisy, grown in between the stone steps going up Dhampus. 

Finally, these small white daisy, namely Mexican Daisy, captured my sight in regardless. Most of the plants in higher altitude become smaller in size due to temperature. Most plants can not survive altitude higher not because of the altitude itself but because of the temperature.  

"It appears that plants — irrespective of species wherever they are across the world — can't effectively build cells once the temperature drops below 7°C." ~ Associate Professor Mark Hovenden, Plant Scientist, University of Tasmania.

Even those surviving plants will be stunted as its way to adapting itself to the climate. There, it explained why most trees we found above the mountains were small and sturdy. 

Ok folks, I had enough writing this piece. I hope it gives you some new knowledge if not too boring to finish reading up to here :)

Yours truly signing off for now. Take care. Mwah! Mwah!


  1. thank you for the delightful images of Nepal

    1. You are most welcome. Glad that you like it. And thank you for dropping by :)



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