Bhutan, in the words of a foreign botanist, is a floral paradise with over hundred endemic species and many others yet to be discovered. The country falls under the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity hotspot.
In the medieval times, Bhutan had earned itself the name of ‘The land of Medicinal plants’ and attracted traditional doctors and physicians from far and wide, particularly from Tibet.
During the same time, many Bhutanese lived close to nature and survived on edible natural plants, roots and fruits, etc.
Today, Bhutan boasts of receiving prestigious international awards in its conservation efforts. Among several other awards, Bhutan also received the “Champion of the Earth Award.”
Bhutan’s serene and virgin forest that covers 72 percent of the land area is home to over 6,000 vascular plants (flowering plants) including 369 orchids, 46 rhododendrons and 111 ferns. The country also has over 100 endemic plants.
There are also three types of pine trees found in Bhutan, which are the blue pine, Chirpine and Bhutan pine. Resin from pine trees was used for lighting purposes in ancient Bhutan.
Out of the 46 rhododendron species, around 6 are endemic to Bhutan. The species grow in the temperate and alpine region of the country. The plant is regarded as highly medicinal and is also used to manufacture incense.
Bhutan’s national flower is the Blue Poppy that grows in the northern alpine region. The national tree, which is the Cypress, grows in abundance throughout the country. Like the rhododendron, the cypress is considered highly medicinal and is also used to make incense.
Cypress trees were used abundantly in the construction of dzongs in the country.
Many tourists visit the country during the flowering season to explore and admire the floral diversity in the country.