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).
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.
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.
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.