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Darjeeling - Flora & Fauna


Darjeeling represents a combination of temperate and sub-tropical areas of the state of West Bengal with the tea gardens along with some agricultural land. It embodies more than 7000 species of flowering plants along with numerous small and beautiful non-flowering plants including algae, fungi, bryophytes and pteridophytes.

Darjeeling represents one of the rich flora in the world. The richness and variety are due to different kinds of physiographic, climatic and edaphic conditions, often aided by biotic factors. Immigration of various plants to the district from the neighbouring countries further influences the richness of the vegetation. The exotic species Cryptomeria japonica locally known as "Dhupi" is an evergreen pine tree found abundantly here.

On the onset of spring, the hills are seen to cover with the flowers of Rhododendron arboreum locally known as "Lali Guras" intermingled with white and pink flowers of Magnolias and Michaelias. The scenery at this time of the year traps the attention of every nature lover.
The Rhododendrons not only produce beautiful scarlet flowers but it also stores a pile of medicinal properties which are best utilised by the local people of Darjeeling.

A little later in the months of April-May, the flowering of Peach,Pear and Cherries invite the attention of the people. The cream and white small flowers of Peach and Pear along with the beautiful pink flowers of Prunus cerosoides really show the beauty of the green hills. No one can forget the beauty of the varieties of Orchids growing wild as well as at the houses of the people. The worth mentioning ones are the species of Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Dendrobium, etc.

The rainy season at Darjeeling lasts for about four months and in the month of October, the festival month starts with the flowering of golden yellow Marygolds Tagetus patula having cultural as well as ethnic value. Besides these, many beautiful tree species such as Birches, Acers, Betulas different species of Quercus, Machilus, Elaeocerpus, Pines etc are found to grow in the hills. Due to the vastness and richness of the area, the local people also make use of the medicinal plants found here.
Bergenia locally known as "Pakhanbet"; Urtica dioica- the nettle locally known as 'Sishnu'; Drymeria cordata ,'Abhijal', Thysanolaena agrostis- 'Amliso' Eupatorium odoratum -'Kalijhar'; Acorus calamus- 'Bojho' Heracleum wallichii- Chimphing etc are worth mentioning.

Courtesy :Dr. Ranjana Yonzone.


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