Na­tional Bloom

Southasia - - BRIEFS -

Cli­mate change and ex­ploita­tion for fod­der, tim­ber and fire­wood is de­creas­ing the yield of rhodo­den­drons in Nepal. Out of 1,000 species around the globe, 32 are found in Nepal, in­clud­ing Rhodo­den­dron cow­a­ni­anum, Rhodo­den­dron lown­de­sit, Kakani, Cham­padevi, Go­davari, Na­garkot, Shiva­puri and Phul­chowki. This na­tional flower un­til a few years ago used to bud in April. This has now shifted to Fe­bru­ary.

Lo­cal res­i­dents and vil­lagers are said to have over-ex­ploited the rhodo­den­dron yield. The pres­i­dent of the Flori­cul­ture As­so­ci­a­tion of Nepal, Lok Nath Gaire, terms it as an un­pro­tected flower be­cause it is not rec­og­nized as an or­na­men­tal flower for dec­o­ra­tion within Nepal. The flower’s early bloom­ing also cre­ates a may­hem of pests and cater­pil­lars. While it is sci­en­tif­i­cally cul­ti­vated and ex­ported to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket as an or­na­men­tal flower, the yield of rhodo­den­drons can be ben­e­fi­cial do­mes­ti­cally as well.

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