Species Rhododendrons

R_arboreum_in_Sikkim R_falconeri_in_Sikkim

What is a species?

A species is a plant that originates in the wild and is created by Mother Nature without the direct intervention of mankind.

Some rhododendron species occur as plants in mats 2 inches tall and several feet across while others may soar as gigantic trees 80 feet tall and are found from sea level to 19,000 feet in elevation. There are nearly 850 different species of rhododendrons in the wild and plants can be found from as far south as northern Australia and as far north as Siberia and Alaska. Approximately 90% of the world's populations of rhododendrons are found in Southeast Asia - principally in the eastern Himalayas.

There are approximately 30 species of rhododendrons to be found in the continental United States and Canada - mostly in the Appalachians and the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Alaska. A few rhododendron species can also be found in Europe and Asia Minor.

One of the special appeals of species rhododendrons is the history of the plant hunters from over the past 200 years - their stories of adventure, courage and endurance in the mountains of the eastern Himalaya and other remote and sometimes dangerous areas of the world.

Rhododendron arboreum

- at 8000 ft in the Himalayas near Tsokha, Sikkim

Rhododendron falconeri

- at 8000 ft in the Himalayas near Tsokha, Sikkim

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