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Botanical Treks


Botanical Treks

Nepal’s biodiversity is a reflection of its unique geographic position and variations in altitude and climate. The protected areas add up to 28,585.67 sq km (19.42% of total land cover) of land. There are nine national parks, three wildlife reserves, three conservation areas, one hunting reserve and nine buffer zones. Share of Bio-resources is: Amphibians: 1.0%; birds: 9.3%; reptiles: 1.6%; mammals: 4.5% Records from 2006 show that Nepal has 6,391 flowering plant species representing 1,590 genera and 231 families whereas in 1997, they recorded 4,259 species representing 1,447 genera and 194 families. Nepal’s share of flowering plant species is 2.76% of the global total compared to earlier records of 2.36%. Nepal’s share of pteriodophytes is 5.15% compared to earlier records of 4.45%.

There are 2,532 species of vascular plants represented by 1,034 genera and 199 families in the protected sites. Some 130 endemic species are found in the protected sites. For ecology and vegetation purposes Nepal could be divided into four floristic regions i.e. (a) western (b) north-western (c) central, and (d) eastern, and bio-climatically these are broken down into twenty regions from humid tropical climate to the arid, alpine regions. But for the purpose of identifying Nepal’s flora for the special interest tourist, the following shows the zones from the point of view of altitude i.e. Tropical zone (below 1,000 m), Sub-tropical Zone (1,000 to 2,100 m), Temperate Zone (2,100 to 3,100 m), Sub-alpine Zone (3,100 to 4,100 m), the Alpine Zone (4,100 to 4,500 m), and the Alpine Steppe region. There are 399 endemic flowering plants in Nepal of which about 63% are from the High Mountains, 38% from the Mid Hills, and only 5% from the Tarai and Siwaliks. Similarly, the central region contains 66% of the total endemic species followed by western (32%) and eastern regions (29%).

Medicinal Plants
Medicinal plants, Ayurveda and the Himalayas are intertwined in a very special manner and Nepal, with a large section lying in the Himalayan region, has special significance. Medicinal plants are used in traditional rural remedies, Ayurvedic medicines, Homoeopathic medicines, and many of them find a place in allopathic medicine as well. 

There are thousands of species easily available and most of them are only available in the Himalayan Zone. The demand for these herbs is high and they can be cultivated on a large scale, but care must be taken to preserve these species of medicinal plants.
 
Some of the important and well-known medicinal plants are: Alpine & sub-alpine medicinal plants: Aconitum Spp., Picrorrhiza scrophularaeflora, Swertia multicaulis, Rheum emodi, Nardostachys jatamansi, Ephedra gerardiana, Cordyceps sinensis, Dactylorhiza hatagirea. 
Tropical and sub-tropical medicinal plants: Terminalias, Cassia fistula, Cassia catechu, Aegles marmelos, Rauwolfia serpentina, Phyllanthus emblica, Ricinus recemosus, Acorus clams, Acacia concinnity, Butte monster. 
Temperate zone medicinal plants: Valeriana wallichii, Berberis, Datura, Solanum, Rubia, Zanthoxylum armatum, Gaultheria fragrautissima, Dioscorea deltoidea, Curulligo orchoidies. 
Some of the regions where medicinal plants are abundantly found are: the Tarai region of Nawalparasi, Chitwan, Bardia, Dhanusha, Mid-hilly Region of Makhwanpur, Syanja, Kaski, Lamgjung, Dolakha, Parvat, Ilam, Ramechhap, Nuwakot, and the Himalayan region of Dolpa, Mugu, Humla, Jumla, Manang, Mustang and Solukhumbu. 

Orchids
In ancient Rome, Theophrastus, a student of Plato, was intrigued by the sight of a plant with a pair of roots. Orchis was the name he gave them, the Greek word for testicles. Worldwide, there are some 500 to 600 genera and some 20,000 to 35,000 names, the largest of all plant families, and out of this, Nepal has 57 genera (27 Terrestrials and 30 Epiphytic) with a few Lithophytes. Spread over a large area in different ecological zones, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the plains in the Tarai, orchids are quite widespread in Nepal giving nature lovers and horticultural experts a treat. 

Some beautiful terrestrial orchids that flower during July-August have a stem with only two leaves and purple flowers while another orchid from the same genera in west Nepal blooms orange-green flowers during February-March. 

Greenish fragrant orchid flowers bloom in March-April around the Godavari area and in Shivapuri and Kakani, orchids with white or pale yellow flowers are seen. During September-October, Sundarijal comes alive with green orchids streaked with purple, and on the way to Daman, pale mauve orchids line the banks of the road in November. All of the areas mentioned above are accessible in a couple of hours or less from Kathmandu. Further away in Dhankuta and Hetauda, there are bright yellow orchid flowers while in Khandbari, purple-brown orchids with pale borders are found. 

Nepal is endowed with an incredible variety of orchids scattered across the country. Dedrobium is the largest species, followed by Habenaria and Bulbophyllum. Anthogonium, Hemipilia and Lusia are some of the other varieties amongst the nearly two dozen single species families. 

Rhododendron
During spring, between March and May, the hills burst into brightly colored flowers.  These Rhododendron flowers can be seen in all the hilly regions of Nepal above 1,200m.  More specifically, the middle mountains vertical belt between 2000 and 4000m serves as the 'wild' preserve of the Rhododendron, or Gurans as it is known in Nepali.

 
 
 
All our botanical tour/trek are carried out  by professional local botanist along with trekking staff.   we have close cooperation with  Botany department of Tirbhuvan university  to cater  such  exclusive treks.

Packages in Botanical Treks

Botanical Treks & Excursion, the local trekking operators organizes the. . .
The Shey-Phoksundo National Park is the largest National park in Nepal. It . . .
Botanical Treks & Excursion, a local trekking agency organizes adventur. . .
Makalu Trek lies in the Eastern Nepal of Makalu-Barun National Park, which . . .
The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) is spread over 7,629 sq. km . . .