During the month of June, flowers are blooming in Himalayan regions.
It’s a specific type of flower that comes into bloom here in Ladakh, due to the high altitude and cold desert like conditions for the most part of the year. Here, plants have developed metabolic and reproductive strategies in order to maximize their activity in this harsh climate.
In the month of June, during your stay at Nimmu house, our boutique hotel, you will see beautiful flowers in full bloom. The weather this time of year is warmer, so the flowers know it’s time to bloom. But because it is only this warm in Ladakh for such a short amount of time, flowers are racing to reproduce. They manage it though, because every year Ladakh is coloured brightly with flowers.
Want to learn more about how plants reproduce here in the Himalayan regions? Read on:
The Root System: For the root system to work in Ladakh the plant’s roots need to be extremely deep in order to absorb water as this zone is very arid. This is especially useful over here during the winter months which are dominated by strong wings, snow blizzards and subzero temperatures.
The growth specificities: The vegetation is dominated by the herbs and a very short period of blooming. The dwarf condition results from suppression of internodes, because of slow growth and brief growing period, which is between May and October. A specialization in the high altitude plants is frost resistance. The ice crystal formation is the most dangerous damage for the plant. Due to these specificities, Ladakh is also a great playground for botanic lovers.
In Ladakh, and in Himalayan regions in general, nearly one third of the recorded flowering plants are used by Amchis for local medicine. The Amchis are herbalists are doctors for Ladakhi people. Unfortunately nowadays, over 100 species have also come under threat due to extraction for fuel-wood, habitat degradation and loss.
Here are some species of flowers you can admire in Nimmu and the surrounding areas:
• In May, the apricots and apple trees welcome the season with their flowers.
• In June, the rose flowers spread their precious perfume all over the Sham valley, where Nimmu is situated. Roses are one of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers in Ladakh. The flowers, mostly pink or yellow, take over the villages, the green areas of the valleys but also the rocks and arid areas of the surroundings. What an experience when you smell one of these pearls of Ladakh. The blooming period lasts just 3 weeks so don’t miss it!
• This little flower, with the latin name “Chesneya cuneata” (Fabacea family) can be found in rocky areas, especially in Himalayan regions.
• Dracocephalum stamineum is a high altitude plant, living at 5280 meters! With its fluffy leafs this purple little plant is worth climbing high to see.
• Erigeron acris is a beautiful asteracea, the same family as the daisy. You will find a lot of these flowers during your days in Ladakh.
• Convolvulus arvensis is located in the villages and valleys on Ladakh. As the bindweed, this is creeping plant with white flowers.
• A very common plant in Ladakh is Myricaria elegans, with its red branches in winter, and bright green leafs in spring. The flowers are white and look like a feather duster. You can find it near the streams. The shrub is about 2 or 3 meters high.
Myricaria elegans Royle
Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D., Indian medicinal plants, Plates, vol. 1: t. 100 (1918)