- All about the country’s National Flower-Rhododendron
- Different Species of Rhododendron
- Best time to experience the beauty of the Rhododendron Forest
- Where can you spot pink blossoms?
- Why is Rhododendron famous in Nepal?
- A Natural Pain Killer
- Healing petals of Rhododendron
- Boosts Immunity
- Prevents Cancer
- Other Significant Facts
The fragrance of Pink Blossoms, so if you haven't witnessed the beautiful forest of the Himalayan region of Nepal covered with Rhododendron flowers, then we insist you visit Nepal. Rhododendron is promoted as ornamentals globally because of their striking colors. You will witness the pink blossom of Rhododendrons as you embark on your trekking journey in the Himalayan region of Nepal because of their aesthetic value.
The Rhododendron Forest has a massive presence in Nepal. A significant influx of tourists visits Nepal to view the beautiful Rhododendron Forest. And the plant provides a lifeline to an array of rich local flora and fauna in the Himalayan region of Nepal. The bright red Rhododendron looks amazingly stunning as you trek in higher altitudes.
The full-bloom view of Rhododendrons in March and May is ideal in Nepal's high Himalayan region. Trekking in Nepal during these months when the Rhododendron flower blooms are the best time than any other month. Rhododendron Trek enables you to explore the different species of Rhododendrons. Because of the enchanting beauty of rhododendron flowers, this trek becomes one of the most romantic treks in your life.
The stunning glimpse of beautiful white-capped peaks covered with a red and pink blossom of Rhododendron makes your journey blissful. Nepal's floral emblem, rhododendrons, are known as the "flower of the mountains" among local hikers.
Said to be the origin of the Japanese expression "flower of the heights" ("Takane no Hana,") often used to describe a prize beyond one's reach, an unattainable object). Rhododendrons are also flowers of unexpected secrets. To Nepali people, the red color evokes such strong feelings that it is used on their national flag. In Nepal, one can also see airplanes and sports team uniforms painted in red to reflect the Red Rhododendron's significance.
The fluttering petals of a rhododendron resemble the frills of a dress. Although the flower looks gorgeous, it can sometimes seem distant, almost too lofty to approach. It is also said to be where the Japanese expression "the flower of the heights" came from. Therefore, venturing into this beautiful journey of seeing the most romantic site will be something that you might be looking forward to.
Nepal's central and eastern regions are extensively covered with rhododendron forests, usually interspersed among other forest types. And trekking in the beautiful blossom of Rhododendron during its flowering time is a reward to your soul.
All about the country’s National Flower-Rhododendron
Rhododendron is a national flower of Nepal, and in the Nepali language, it is popularly known as Laliguras. The beautiful red color of that rhododendron flower is widely seen in any Himalayan region of Nepal. Laliguras meaning Red Rhododendron is the most celebrated and significant tourist attraction among thirty species of Rhododendrons found within the hills of Nepal. The plant has a genus of over 1,000 species in the heath family of Ericaceae, native mainly to the Himalayan regions of Eastern Asia. However, Rhododendron plants are also found in North America, Europe, and Australia.
The Rhododendron plant holds an exceptional place among the Nepalese because it has been the country's national flower since 2019 B.S. when it was declared by His Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah himself. The government of Nepal first began considering this new symbol for the country in the late 1980s, inspired by the different species of Rhododendrons that grow all across the country.
It is a beloved flower for Nepalese as it decorates beautiful trekking trails and the whole of Nepal with its richness. Although it is the most common bloom in Nepal, it is the most beautiful pink and red blossom in which the country takes pride. The Greek translation of Rhododendron means “red rose trees. Rhododendron plants can be evergreen and deciduous with tender stems and branches, thick dry bark, and showy flowers with large red petals.
Different Species of Rhododendron
The Rhododendron varies in species that grow wild in the Himalayas' foothills. In Nepal, we find different species of Rhododendron, and it is widely found in different colors like red, pink, and light white. So, as you explore Nepal's Himalayan region, you may come across different types of rhododendron trees that do not only vary in color but also in the height of the trees. It is particularly striking as you ascend higher elevations through blooming rhododendron forest, the gnarled branches covered in moss topped with shiny ever, green leaves with sizeable snowy rhododendron forest. It's a sight that you will cherish forever.
Nepal is home to more than thirty species of Rhododendron, including the popular Lali Gurans (the national flower of Nepal), which grows to be 20 meters tall and has beautiful red, pink, and white blooms. In the Himalayas, rhododendron blooms in the upper elevations from 2,400 to 2,800 meters in Spring.
The different species of Rhododendron trees vary, as you may see tall trees boasting large white flowers, purple-flowered shrubs, or tiny plants creeping along the ground with large red flowers. And if you want to see Rhododendrons in the wild, you'll have to trek above 1,500 meters as higher elevation is the natural habitat for Rhododendron forests. Rhododendron trees are found at altitudes as low as 200 m and as high as 600 m.
The tree reaches a height of up to 15 meters and has the longest span of blooming. The Rhododendron flower is regarded as the national flower of Nepal because the Nepalese Ambassador planted it during his visit in 2010, which symbolizes Nepal's long connection with the Botanical garden, which stretches back to 1802.
In Nepal, there is a large variety of species of Rhododendron, such as astragalus, Lonicera, caragana, white magnolias, orchids, lavender primus, blue irises, and saxifrages proliferate, to name few.
The common species that you may see as you trek in higher altitudes of Nepal are Rhododendron, known as "arboretum," "Campanulatum," and "Forrestii" rhododendrons. Out of these species in Nepal, the national flower is the "arboretum," an impressive species of Rhododendron that grows approximately 20 meters tall and blooms into beautiful red rhododendron flowers. The "Campulatum” rhododendron has purple, blue, and white flowers and grows approximately at the height of 5 meters. The other species, known as "Forrestii," grows at higher altitudes at 20 centimeters in contrast to other rhododendrons.
This species is smaller in size and has tiny leaves. The flowers bloom into beautiful large bright red flowers. There are extensive and magnificent Rhododendron arboretum forests throughout the country ranging in elevation from 1,400 to 3,600 meters. At an altitude of 1,400 meters, the flowers are a vibrant red, adding to Nepal's natural beauty. The color of the Rhododendron shifts to pink, which gradually becomes pure in higher elevations. Rhododendron, or the Lali Gurans, is the most beloved flower of Nepalese, as it is the people's hearts, culture, and economic life.
Best time to experience the beauty of the Rhododendron Forest
Spring is the best season to witness the flowers of Rhododendron blooming in pink, red and white. So, if you wish to see the Rhododendrons in full bloom in their natural habitat, Spring is the best season. Many Rhododendron species bloom from March through early May. Therefore, you may look forward to coinciding with your visits during this time of the year.
The rhododendron flower decorates the forest with its natural beauty, and the tourists can't resist staring at the mixture of red flowers along the beautiful trekking trails of Nepal. In Spring, when it is in full bloom, it makes the forest of the trekking trail an embellished bride. And the Himalayan region of Nepal is in full bloom of rhododendron flowers in Spring.
In winter, it is equally beautiful to see the rhododendron forest covered with snow, adding to the beauty of trekking destinations in Nepal. A home to various shades of fluttering butterflies and bees is a sight to watch. Nepal is indeed a destination for all four seasons. If you are looking for the buzzing and humming of wild bees in the sea colors of the Rhododendron forests covered with snow at zero temperature, then the view is spectacular.
Rhododendrons are a flower familiar to Nepali hikers. The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek in March/April is a splendor with various rhododendrons in full bloom, and many hikers would go there during that time of the year to view the flowers.
As a flowering plant, the well-proportioned Rhododendron is relatively easy to grow. However, the flower is also delicate because lengthened exposure to direct sunlight and high temperature with little moisture will cause it to wither and dry up. Some say that the Nepali mountains in March provide the best conditions and an unparalleled environment for rhododendrons to grow.
Where can you spot pink blossoms?
As a traveling tourist in Nepal, you may be interested in spotting Rhododendrons while trekking to your favorite Nepal trekking destinations. Here are the best treks that may interest you and catch your attention.
- Annapurna Region
- Langtang Valley
- Lower Everest Region
- Pikey Peak Trek Route
- Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
- Makalu Barun Trek
- Mardi Himal trek
Surprisingly the Milke Danda trekking destination will showcase the tourist with 30 species of Rhododendron in the beautiful hills of Milke Danda. A significant number of Rhododendron species are found in Teenjura, Milke, and Jajale, also known as the TMJ area and the capital of the rhododendron capitals of the nation. Although most attractive, diverse species and adequate rhododendron trees are especially in Milke Danda. Moreover, they are in the Langtang valley, Everest Region, and Ruby Valley Route. Poon hill and Ghandruk areas are also major hot spots. To give total satisfaction to our visitors Trek to Everest offer the most romantic rhododendron flowers view trek.
The primary locations are Milke Danda, upper Langtang Valley, and Poon Hill. During this trek, besides the attraction of rhododendron flowers, you will get a glimpse of the beautiful peaks of the particular region. The trekking trail of Milke Danda continues up through the extensive pure Rhododendron forests along rocky ridges with a set of few small lakes.
Why is Rhododendron famous in Nepal?
Rhododendrons in Nepal are one of the naturally occurring plants in the Himalayan regions of Nepal has many health benefits. It helps prevent and treat heart disease, dysentery, inflammation, constipation, bronchitis, and asthma. The red petals of the rhododendron flower are a natural pain killer and serve as a natural cure. According to WHO (2000), about 65% of the global population utilizes the medicinal properties of the rhododendron plant for treatment.
In the traditional culture of Nepal's Himalayan region, the flowers of Rhododendrons are processed into powders widely used in pickles (dips mixed with mint leaves and salt). The health benefits of rhododendrons flowers are due to their antifungal, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
For ages, the homeopathic medicine system used rhododendron flowers to make medicines to cure various diseases. Read what wonders it does to your body.
A Natural Pain Killer
Applying the paste of the rhododendron leaves on the forehead is a quick cure for headaches. Due to its potent astringent properties, it is used to treat inflammation. The juice extract relieves stomach aches.
Homeopathic and Ayurveda medicines use rhododendron petals to cure gout, arthritis, and bronchitis.
The Rhododendron plant extract soothes inflammation immediately.
The two anti-inflammatory chemicals Quercetin' and 'Rutin' found in Rhododendron plants relieve kidney inflammation of the urinary bladder, whereas 'Rutin helps to treat mouth ulcers and gastrointestinal infections.
Healing petals of Rhododendron
The juice extracted from Rhododendrons lowers blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The Anti-Diabetic Properties of Rhododendron Plants
Rhododendron's petals contain an antioxidant 'hyper in' that causes a drop in blood sugar and cholesterol levels when consumed.
Rhododendron honey effectively helps in lowering blood glucose. However, beware that it may be toxic, too, if consumed raw.
The Antimicrobial Properties of Rhododendrons
Rhododendrons contain bioactive steroids and phytochemicals with antimicrobial properties that help maintain a
Locals consume rhododendron petals as it strengthens their immune response preventing allergic responses due to weather changes. Quercetin lowers the risk of asthma, allergies, hives, and hay fever.
Moreover, mixing these dried leaves with tobacco and inhaling the smoke helps cure respiratory diseases naturally.
Rhododendron is an Ayurveda medicine that helps reduce the risk of liver damage. The hepatoprotective properties of rhododendron flowers come from Quercetin, which has powerful antioxidant properties and helps heal many diseases.
The Quercetin and Rutin in the Rhododendron flower prevent oxidative damage to normal cells leading to mutation and Cancer. But nowadays, several studies are carried out to prove the benefits of these seasonal flowers, not only to treat the eyes but also for medicinal purposes for the whole body. A delightful drink is also made from flowers and heavy doses of sugar. The drink made out of Rhododendrons is similar to the refreshing drinks made from the hibiscus flower in the Middle East. At the same time, rhododendron flowers are a source of honey. While consuming it, one should be cautious about a particular species that produce highly toxic honey. Essential oils from some species are used in perfumes and incense. The flower is often seen as an offering in hill temples.
Other Significant Facts
Numerous poems and songs refer to Lali Gurans or Rhododendrons. For instance, the most famous songs like "Timi Lali Gurans Phule Jastai" and "Ma Ta Laligurans Bhayechu" have the word Laliguras in the lyrics. Women use rhododendron flowers on their hair, while the red blossom of Rhododendron is used to decorate houses. People of all ages enjoy walking in the forests of red and pink blossoms while picking bouquets of rhododendron flowers. It is especially true of those in courtship who exchange flowers as a token of affection. Helambu District celebrates Lali Gurans Festival in the peak flowering season. Laliguras also find a place in the Nepali food menu, as in the remotes of the Himalayan region, the villagers directly eat the flower petals with a pinch of salt and chilies added to them.
The flowering rhododendrons draw thousands of trekkers to Nepal every year. Some other destinations to spot Rhododendrons are- The Pulchowki hills near the Kathmandu Valley are easily accessible. Seeing these beautiful flowering forests against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas while enjoying the excellent hospitality of the Nepali people is undoubtedly worth a trip from anywhere in the world.
Out of more than 1000 species of Rhododendrons found in the world, more than 30 species are found extensively in about 40 districts of Nepal. Rhododendron is one such flower found and mentioned in 500 and 1000 notes of Nepalese Rupees. Nepalese people rely on the rhododendron plant for everyday sustainability, especially in the Himalayan remotes of Nepal, and they continue to value it as the national flower. The flower is an integral part of Nepalese culture and adds good revenue to the country's economy employing many.
The Rhododendron plant is an excellent symbol of resilience, as it stands for the world's resilience against the British colonizers who attempted to misuse the practical purpose of the flowering plant.
Nepal is a beautiful country to visit worldwide, and if you wish to see Rhododendron flowers bloom, many trekking trails will take you through these stunning blooms.
If you are inspired to see the flowering Rhododendron? Then consider visiting Nepal and explore the various trekking packages.