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National Flower of Nepal


National Flower Of Nepal

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Are you traveling to Nepal on your next vacation? Do you want to explore the mountain ranges of Nepal and witness the beauty of the National flower of Nepal? Would you like to learn why Rhododendron is significant to the Nepalese? This article  provides detailed information regarding Rhododendron’s different species, cultural significance, and the best time and places to enjoy the blooming Rhododendron forests.

Nepal is a stunning country renowned for its incredible geographical features, majestic mountains, and rich culture and tradition. The Himalayan range dominates the country’s geography, as it is home to some of the world’s tallest mountains.

As a result, Nepal has become a famous trekking and mountaineering destination for travelers worldwide. Besides exploring the glorious mountains, travelers visit Nepal to witness the majestic Rhododendron forests. This national flower bloom in the  hilly regions of Nepal.

Rhododendron forests are one of the major highlights of the treks in Nepal as it beautifully decorates the hiking routes and adds beauty to the landscape. The name Rhododendron in Greek translated to ” red rose trees.” The plant is described to be evergreen and deciduous with tender branches, stems, and thick dry bark.

Rhododendron: Nepal’s National Flower

National Flower Of Nepal

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The national flower of Nepal is the Rhododendron, also known as Lali gurans in Nepali. Whereas the scientific name used for it is “Rhododendron Ferrugineum.” These species of flowering trees mainly flourish in the Himalayan region worldwide. Apart from Nepal, Rhododendron is found in China, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Pakistan and other neighboring countries.

The Rhododendron plant grows to a maximum height of over 50 to 60 feet in the wild. The tallest species was recorded to be over 108 feet tall on Mt. Jabfu, India, in 1993. There are varieties of Rhododendron species in Nepal, which bloom every Spring. In 2019 B.S., the beloved flower was declared to be the national flower of Nepal.

The flower had significance in Nepalese culture even before it was Nepal’s national flower. The Rhododendron symbolizes courtship and is regarded as a token of affection. Places like Helambu in Nepal celebrate the “Lali Gurans Festival”.. It is also a local delicacy in the Himalayan regions of Nepal. The local people eat the Rhododendron plants with a pinch of chilies and salt for flavor, believing the flowers have health benefits.

Different Species of Nepal’s National Flower

The Rhododendron species grow in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal and are found in distinct colors such as light white, pink and red. So, during your expedition in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, you will witness different Rhododendrons in various colors and heights.

As you ascend the high elevation of the mountain regions, you will walk through the Rhododendron Forest. The branches covered with moss and topped with blooming Rhododendrons will leave you speechless.

The country is home to more than thirty species of Rhododendron, including Lali Gurans, Nepal’s national flower. The Rhododendron blooms at 2,400 to 2,800 meters in the Himalayan region of Nepal.

Some of the popular species of Rhododendron in Nepal are Lonicera, astragalus, caragana, white magnolias, blue irises, lavender primus, and Saxifrages proliferate. During your Trek in the Himalayan regions in Nepal, you may come across common Rhododendron species such as “campanulatum,” “arboretum,” and “forrestii.”

What Does the National Flower of Nepal Look Like?

The Rhododendron comes in diverse species. Among them, Nepal’s national flower, the Rhododendron arboreum, is a beautiful variant. Its tree has large dark green leaves, which have a leather-like texture.

The Rhododendron tree blooms during the start of the spring season and is renowned for its cluster of fragrant flowers. The blooms of the national flower of Nepal are funnel or bell-shaped with red petals and black nectar pouches.

Where Does the National Flower of Nepal Grow?

National Flower Of Nepal

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The national flower of Nepal grows at a staggering elevation of 2,400m to 2,800m. Due to their unique habitat, they are sensitive to temperature and climate changes. As a result, several species of Rhododendrons are enlisted to be vulnerable and endangered.

Nepal’s national flower, The Rhododendron arboreum is known to thrive in humus-rich and moist soil with adequate exposure to the sun. During your visit to Nepal, you can find them blooming in forest areas of the Himalayan mountain regions.

If you want to witness the beauty of the national flower of Nepal, we recommend you trek during March, April and May. During these months, the Rhododendron can be seen in popular trekking destinations such as the Manaslu trek, Annapurna Circuit trek, Langtang Valley and Poon Hill trek.

Cultural Significance of the National Flower of Nepal?

The national flower of Nepal has a unique significance in Nepali culture. The Rhododendron arboreum blooms every Spring in Nepal and welcomes travelers worldwide to witness its beauty. The locals also promote the popularity of the flower by selling the flower to tourists in the busy markets of the high-altitude region.

These flowers are commonly used to adorn businesses, homes, and temples. Women and Rhododendrons are seen placing the Rhododendron on their hair. Additionally, it the national flower of Nepal and is considered well as it is considered a sacred offering at religious sites and temples.

Nepal’s national flower is offered to political figures from other countries as a symbol of diplomatic relations. The flower is also adorned in the national currency of Nepal. Besides, Rhododendron arboreum has gained popularity in neighboring countries as well. One example is the issuing of unique stamps by the Indian Postal Service, which commemorate the national flower of Nepal.

The Best Time to Experience the Beauty of Nepal’s National Flower

The national flower of Nepal thrives in the foothills of the Himalayan regions. However, it is delicate to high temperatures, and lack of moisture will cause it to dry and wither. Experts believe March offers the best condition for Rhododendrons to grow and bloom.

Overall, the season of Spring is considered to be the  best season to witness Rhododendrons blooming in Nepal.

The season starts in early March, and the Rhododendron will start to bloom until late May and June. So, we recommend you plan your visit around this time to witness the exquisite beauty of Nepal’s national flower.

During the Spring, the flower decorates the forest and enhances the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Travelers love to hike along the path and immerse themselves in the exquisite experience. Besides, the early winter is also considered an ideal time to witness the rhododendron forests as they are covered with snow. This adds to the overall beauty of the Trek and the travel destination.

Regardless, Nepal is a perfect destination for all seasons, which also depends on your preference and purpose of visit. We recommend the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek to witness the splendid and colorful Rhododendron forests in full bloom.

Treks to See the National Flower of Nepal

The blooming national flower of Nepal draws trekkers from around the world to Nepal every year. The country is known for being home to Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. The Everest offers numerous trekking routes to adventure enthusiasts. These trekking routes offer you sights of majestic mountains, scenic landscapes and charming villages.   Apart from these, one of the major highlights of the expedition is the gorgeous Rhododendron forests. The forest blooms beautiful flowers with delicate petals and vibrant colors starting in March.

Langtang Trek

The Langtang trek is one of Nepal’s most scenic and beautiful routes, which takes you through the Langtang valley. The region is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. The Trek is ideal for travelers seeking to experience Nepal’s Himalayan region with lesser crowds.

You will pass through dense forests, charming villages, and alpine meadows throughout the Trek. Additionally, you will be able to encounter wildlife, such as the elusive red pandas. The Langtang trek is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts as it offers breathtaking views of mountains such as the Dorje Lakpa and Langtang Lirung. We recommend you start the Trek during the spring season and autumn. It offers crisp weather, and the national flowers of Nepal are in full bloom.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The Trek is considered a challenging and rewarding trek; it takes you to the base camp of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world. The stunning mountain stands at a staggering height of 8,586m. The trek route is remote and less crowded, offering serene views of majestic mountain peaks.

The Trek offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and tradition of the Rai and Limbu people. The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is regarded to be an adventure expedition, promising you an unforgettable journey in the Himalayan regions of Nepal.

Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Trek takes you around the surrounding regions of Mount Manaslu, which is the eighth-highest mountain peak in the world. The remote Trek is perfect for those who seek to explore the untouched beauty of the mountain regions of Nepal. You will pass through lush subtropical forests and diverse landscapes throughout the Trek.

Also, the Trek allows you to observe the traditional villages and immerse yourself in the unique local culture and traditions. The Manaslu Circuit trek is considered an adventure of a lifetime, offering unique cultural experiences and breathtaking scenery. It is also a means to challenge yourself mentally and physically.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is one of Nepal’s most popular and easy treks. The trek route takes you through lush forests, charming villages and picturesque landscapes. One of the major highlights of the Trek is Poon Hill, a viewpoint that offers you glorious panoramic views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain ranges.

The Trek is also an opportunity for you to experience the hospitality and culture of the Gurung community. It is suitable for beginner trekkers and can be visited at any time of the year. However, we recommend you start the trek during the spring season when the national flowers of Nepal are in full bloom, which creates a vibrant atmosphere throughout the region. Overall, it is an ideal trek that offers a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal, which offers a cultural experience and breathtaking scenery.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The iconic Annapurna base camp trek takes you to the base camp of Mount Annapurna, which is the tenth-highest mountain in the world. The Annapurna Circuit trek is a beautiful journey that takes you through lush subtropical forests and diverse landscapes.

Along the Trek, you will witness traditional villages, shrines, monasteries, and stunning views of Mount Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Also, it is an opportunity to learn and experience the local tradition and culture of the Gurung and Magar community, who have lived in the region for generations. The Trek is moderate, yet challenging because of the distinct landscape but rewards you with beautiful memories of the majestic Himalayas.

Health Benefits of Nepal’s National Flower

Nepal’s national flower is a flora that thrives in the Himalayan regions and is renowned for having numerous health benefits. The properties of Rhododendron are said to prevent dysentery, heart disease, constipation, inflammation, asthma, and bronchitis. Further, the red petals of the flower are natural painkillers, and locals of the Himalayan region of Nepal consume it as a natural cure for injuries.

The traditional way of processing the Rhododendron flower is to grind and mix it with salt and mint leaves. Nepalese people have been using it for its health benefits for ages as they believe it to have antioxidant, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Ayurveda and Homeopathic medicine use the petals of the Rhododendron flowers to cure arthritis, bronchitis, and gout.

A Natural Painkiller: The paste made from the leaves of Rhododendron is applied to the head as a cure for headaches. It is said to have astringent properties, which also help treat inflammation and stomach aches.

Additionally, anti-inflammatory chemicals found in the Rhododendron flowers, such as “Quercetin” and “Rutin,” are believed to relieve gastrointestinal infections and kidney inflammations.

Anti-Diabetic Properties: The antioxidant properties of Nepal’s national flower causes blood sugar and cholesterol level to drop significantly. Also, it effectively lowers blood glucose when consumed in moderation as well. However, the flower can be toxic if eaten raw and without guidance.

Antimicrobial Properties: The phytochemicals and bioactive steroids in Nepal’s national flower help consumers maintain a healthy gut.

Healing petals: The juice extracted from the petals of the flowers helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Healthy liver: The flower is traditional Ayurvedic medicine, which can help reduce the risk of damage to the liver. The flower’s hepatoprotective properties are also considered a powerful antioxidant that helps cure several liver-related problems.

Boosts Immunity: The local people of the Himalayan regions of Nepal consume the petals of the Rhododendron as it helps boost their strength and vitality. As a result, these people are immune to allergic responses to the weather, protecting them against hay fever, asthma, hives and allergies.

Other Benefits: The Rutin and Quercetin in the national flower of Nepal prevent damage to normal cells, which can lead to mutation and Cancer. Several studies have also shown that the juice from the flower is as beneficial and refreshing as the drinks from the hibiscus flower.

Besides, the Rhododendron is also a source of honey in Nepal. The honey made from some species of these flowers is highly intoxicating but offers health benefits if consumed in moderation. Due to their unique fragrance, rhododendrons are also used as a source of essential oils, incense, and perfumes.

FAQs

Why is the Rhododendron called the national flower of Nepal?

The Rhododendron is regarded as the national flower of Nepal because the Nepalese Ambassador planted it during his visit in 2010. It symbolized the connection of Nepal with the Botanical garden, which dates back to 1802.

What is Nepal’s national color?

The color crimson red is the national color of Nepal; it reflects the brave spirit of the Nepalese.

What is the national fruit of Nepal?

Raspberry Rubus is the national fruit of Nepal.

What is Nepal’sNepal’s national sport?

Volleyball was declared the national sport of Nepal on May 23, 2017.

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