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.

About Rhododendron

  • 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