Bhutan’s forests, which cover over 70.4 percent of the total land area, showcase a diverse range of flowers, plants and orchids. The country’s nomenclature in ancient history was mostly based on the variety and rarity of medicinal plants and flowers found in the country.
The peoples’ great reverence and respect to the natural world has allowed its forests to grow and thrive thereby creating a harmonious environment in full blossom and colors throughout the four seasons.
Geographically, the country is divided into subtropical, temperate, sup alpine and alpine region. These regions demonstrate over 5,600 species of vascular plants, 369 orchids and over 200 species of medicinal plants and more than 400 species of fern.
There are also more than 100 endemic plants and orchids that can be seen only in Bhutan such as different species of Rhododendron, Daphne, and Primula etc.
During early summer, the temperate and alpine forests of Bhutan display a wide colorful variety of rhododendrons.
The southern foothills of Bhutan which is warm in winter and hot during summer grows a variety of plants and flowers including Sal, Duabanga, Sissoo, Gulmohar. Further north, Pine, Oak, Magnolia, Acer, Cosmos, grows in the temperate and sub alpine belt.
The alpine region mostly grows shrubs, herbs and flowers such as Edelweiss, Rheum and Blue Poppy, which is the country’s national flower.
Rhododendron, which contains highly medicinal elements, grows in abundance in the temperate and alpine region. There are 46 species of rhododendrons that has been discovered so far.
Cypress tree, which is the national tree of the country grows in abundance throughout the country and its leaves and branches are used to make incense.
The forests of Bhutan also provides an opportunity to see some very rare and endangered species of plants like Agarwood, white poppy, yellow necklace pod etc.
Bhutan is part of the eastern Himalayan biological hotspot and has received numerous international awards for its conservation efforts and its biological diversity.
Bhutan also boasts of uncharted virgin forests, alpine meadows and Ramsar sites.
The protected area system of Bhutan is regarded as one of the most comprehensive in the world. These areas represent almost all the species of plants found in the entire country.
Lampelri Botanical Park located around 14 kilometers from Thimphu has rhododendron garden, orchid houses, lakes, hiking trails, and thousands of species of plants and birds.
One can hike from Lampelri Botanical Park and reach Thrimshingla national park savoring the raw natural beauty of the landscape, huge diversity of plants, flowers and birds, lakes, mountains and rivers.
The royal botanical garden in Thimphu today is actively involved in rescuing rare and endangered plants from huge government construction sites. The garden houses more than 200 species of orchids. There are a total of 369 orchid species in the country today.
The people of Bhutan share a special bond and relationship with nature. Almost 70 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture. Many songs, dances and music also derive inspiration from nature.
The government’s policy today is geared mostly towards conservation and preservation. Gross national happiness, which is the development philosophy of the government constitute environmental conservation as one of its four pillars.