Darjeeling – A land of diversified flora and fauna
Representing a perfect combination of temperate and sub-tropical climate, Darjeeling us a land of diverse flora and fauna, which worldwide fame. It houses 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 floras in the world. Due to the richness and variety of different physiographic, climatic and edaphic conditions, coupled by biotic factors, flora and fauna gets a favorable condition to thrive. Apart from various immigrating plants from the neighboring countries, the Queen of Hills is the home to a number of rarest species. The exotic species Cryptomeria japonica, locally known as “Dhupi” is an example of evergreen species found in Darjeeling and not in any other places of the world. The beginning of spring is featured with hills covered up with the flowers of Rhododendron arboreum locally known as “Lali Guras”. The flowers of rhododendron are blended with white and pink flowers of Magnolias and Michaelias, which makes the hilly tract cheerful in all aspects.
An avid nature lover can find the true pleasure that nature can offer while visiting Darjeeling. The Rhododendrons not only produce beautiful scarlet flowers but it also stores a pile of medicinal properties, which are extensively utilized by the local people of Darjeeling.
The months of April-May attracts a large chunk of tourists with the flowering of Peach, Pear and Cherries all around. The cream and white small flowers of Peach and Pear, coupled with beautiful pink flowers of Prunus cerosoides intensify the beauty of the green hills. Next comes the wide assortments of Orchids growing wild. Darjeeling is known to be the abode of the largest number of orchid species, which is more than any other places of the world. The predominating species of Orchids here are Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Dendrobium, etc.
Apart from these, many beautiful tree species such as Birches, Acers, Betulas etc are found thriving on the hilly soil of Darjeeling. The other species of tree are Quercus, Machilus, Elaeocerpus, A large number of Pines forming immaculate green forest are found to grow in the hills. Due to the vastness and richness of the area, many medicinal plants are also grown here.
The leading species of trees are, 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 .