Published on: February 22, 2023
Why in news? The Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas are largest home to rhododendrons found in India, reveals the latest publication of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
- Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas comprise only 0.3% of India’s geographical area but the region is home to one-third (34%) of all rhododendron types
- Rhododendron, meaning rose tree in Greek, is considered an indicator species for climate change.
- The reports highlights the ecological significance of the region as far as an indicator species like rhododendron is concerned
- They are facing a high threat due to anthropological pressures and climate change
- Rhododendron edgeworthii, with white campanulate flowers, recorded a huge habitat decline in both Darjeeling and Sikkim.
The history of Rhododendron
- They were first recorded by Captain Hardwick in Jammu and Kashmir in 1776
- British botanist Joseph D. Hooker to Sikkim between 1848 and 1850 that revealed the rhododendron wealth of the Sikkim and Darjeeling Himalayas.
- They can be either evergreen or deciduous.
- Most species are native to eastern Asia and the Himalayan region, but smaller numbers occur elsewhere in Asia, and in North America, Europe and Australia
- Distribution in India includes Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Nagaland