Flora of Bhutan

An astonishing array of plants grow in Bhutan: over 5400 species, including 300 species of medicinal plants & over 50 species of rhododendrons. Of the more than 600 species of orchid, most are commonly found up to 2,100m, although some hardy species thrive even above 3,700m.

Tropical evergreen forests growing below 800m are repositories of unique bio-diversity. The next vegetation zone is the subtropical grassl&s & forests found between 900m & 1,800m. The tree rhododendron is found in this zone, along with forest of oak, walnut & sal, & numerous varieties of orchids.

Temperate zone is a region of great diversity, largely influenced by the elevation. The tropical vegetation of the lower zones gives way to dark forests of oak, birch, maple, magnolia & laurel. Above 2,400m altitude is the home of spruce, yew, & weeping cypress, & higher still, growing up to the tree line, is the east Himalayan fir. Between the tree line & the snow line at about 5,500m are low shrubs, rhododendrons, Himalayan grasses & flowering herbs.

Bhutan’s national flower, Blue Poppy grows above the tree line 3,500 – 4,500m elevation & can be found atop some high passes from the far eastern parts of the country all the way across to the west.




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