Discuss about the diversity of “Flowering Plants” in Sikkim .
Ans :- Flowering Plants of Sikkim :-
Sikkim, the smallest state of North-East in terms of area and with less than 1% of India’s landmass, is home to 27% of all flowering plants found in the country, reveals the publication released by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). “Flora of Sikkim – A Pictorial Guide”, lists 4,912 naturally occurring flowering plants in the tiny Himalayan State.
The total number of naturally occurring flowering plants in the country is about 18,004 species, and with 4,912 species, the diversity of flowering plants in Sikkim, spread over an area of 7,096 sq. km. is very unique . The publication of BSI provides details of 5,068 taxa (including 152 cultivated taxa) belonging to 1,491 genera and 209 angiosperm families which are naturally occurring flowering plants, along with geography, ecology, vegetation pattern and forest types of Sikkim. The publication details 532 species of wild orchids (which is more than 40% of all orchid species found in India), 36 species of rhododendron and 20 species of oak, and more than 30 species of high value medicinal plants, among other species.
Scientists and researchers behind the publication said that the State, which is a part of the Kanchenjunga biosphere landscape, has different altitudinal ecosystems, which provide opportunity for herbs and trees to grow and thrive. The State also borders China, Bhutan and Nepal, and the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal. From sub-alpine vegetation to the temperate to the tropical, the State has different kinds of vegetation, and that is the reason for such a diversity of flora. The elevation also varies between 300 metres to 8,586 metres above mean sea level, the apex being the top of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 metres).
Conclusion :- A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity , including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Mt. Kangchenjunga (8586m) the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. The Kangchenjunga landscape of Sikkim is a complex of three distinct ecoregions :- the eastern Himalayan broad leaved and coniferous forests , the Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows and the TeraiDuar savanna and grasslands . These eco-regions provide the state with diverse flora and fauna .