WILD BREATHLESS WONDER

Rhododendrons are  Spectacular Flowers many of which have their Origins on the Lofty Slopes of the Mighty Himalayas.

The tiny Himalayan State of Sikkim in North East India is a Hotspot for a wondrous range of Rhododendrons some of which are critically endangered.

The Plants vary from small shrubs ( as can be seen on the pictures that follow) to Lofty Trees ( do read an earlier blog titled HIMALAYAN HOTSPOT).

These lovely flowers herald the onset of Spring in the Himalayas and are often the first to bloom.

Pictures that follow are of WILD RHODODENDRONS ( naturally occurring ,not cultivated nor hybrids) and probably over 10 years OLD.

I struggled( huffed and puffed)  to climb up the Stony Slopes of the Himalayas and captured these images of the few Blooms that survived the onslaught of Rains at a height of 13500 feet ( over 4100 m).

on the hill
Blooming at 13500 feet

It is stated that these are the most wonderous of all Rhododendrons partly on account of their leaves ( have a close look). The undersides ( scientifically called indumentum) of the leaves are hairy in hues of rust whereas the upper sides are Dark Green Leathery and Smooth.

The leaves are also the bearers of a deadly toxin ,grayanotoxin. Beauty with a punch.

breathless
Breathless Pink

The Light Pink Blooms with Freckles borne on small shrubs and located at Baba Mandir, Sikkim on the Alpine Slopes of the Himalayas are scientifically called Rhododendron campanulatum subspecies. Aeruginosum.

reaching out
Reaching Out

This is a rare sighting and am happy to share this Unique Rhododendron species  ( found only in a small  Himalayan region of Sikkim and Bhutan)  with all the readers of Enchanted Forests.

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

58 thoughts on “WILD BREATHLESS WONDER”

  1. Great photos – I really love rhododendrons but sadly live in too hot a climate for them to survive. I did have some beautiful rhododendrons when I lived in Victoria, Australia, but we had a massive heatwave, temps went up to 47C and sadly our rhodies shrivelled and died. Here in North Cyprus we have bougainvilleas to fill the gap, but a couple of rhodies would be delightful!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. They look so pretty when in full bloom, occurring naturally the way they do. It is said that the sweet wine made from it can be quite a drink, and that being around a grove for too long can make you feel slightly uncomfortable too. But then, it could be just a folk tale 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments and visit too. You are right , I have seen and and tasted the Juice too ( though not the wine) . However that is the practice in Uttrakhand and not Sikkim. The Species are different too. See an earlier blog please.

      Like

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