Arunachal Pradesh is known as the Orchid state of India and rightly so, about sixty percent of the total orchid species in India can be found only in Arunachal itself. Several sanctuaries have been set up, the orchid trade regulated and many more conservation steps have been taken up the Arunachal Government to make it a hotspot of these exotic beautiful and colorful orchids.
Rebe is a rare endangered medicinal plant, which was believed to be extinct, has been rediscovered after 115 years by a team of botanists in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Subansiri district. Rebe, last seen in 1890, was found growing in the wild in Upper Subansiri and Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh by scientists of the Botanical Survey India (BSI). Known to local Adi and Tagin tribes as “Buckuchurbu” and “Rebe” respectively, the plant is used by them to treat stomach aches and dehydration.
Yakla Snow Lotus:
This is a rare perennial herb, found high in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 3500-4300 m. Yakla Snow Lotus is a beautiful perennial stem-less plant. Flowers are deep purple, in a solitary central flower-head. The flower-head is surrounded by a ring or rosette of purplish bracts, again prostrate. The whole plant, thus, has a very symmetric and pretty appearance.
Little information is available on its habitat and population status although the first report of this species is from Arunachal Pradesh in West Kameng. This is an epiphytic species found growing on large tree trunks in dense moist subtropical evergreen forests at an elevation of 1,100m. The flowers are white and fleshy with up to six flowers in a stalk and look pretty distinct. It is extremely rare and its presence unknown. Checking out the Sessa Orchid sanctuary might be worthwhile while visiting Kamen.
Globe Primrose is distinguished by its compact spherical head of many blue flowers, carried on top of stem 10-30 cm tall. Oblong to lance like leaves, they are arranged in a rosette. Flowers are funnel shaped with spreading, inverted heart-shaped petals. Globe Primrose is found high in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 3000-5000 m. It flowers during the months of August-November. Found in the northern hilly ranges of Arunachal Pradesh.
The attractive pink flower of this tree blooms in early February and can be noticed by tourists till this time of the year in March which has been recently been discovered in 2013, along the Mechuka valley. “The king of shrubs” i.e. the rhododendron family can be collectively seen in this region and certainly paints a perfect picture.
The lady slipper orchids:
This beautiful marvel of nature has its roots ingrained in certain regions of Arunachal Pradesh especially along the Kameng River and the Orchid Research Centre at Tippi. What makes them unique is their shape- they have slipper shaped pouches which are colorful and bright to attract and trap insects. The blooming period of these graceful flowers are during the months of June to October. These are greatly considered as symbols of luck and prosperity and it finds itself useful in many rituals performed by certain tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh. It’s commonly visible in bright attractive colors and its charm will surely attract you – So no need to keep looking for it!
Golden-Eyed Primrose is a beautiful primrose with flowers which range from yellow to lavender to blue. The yellow-flowered species Golden-Eyed Primrose is specifically found in Eastern Himalayas, in Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, and China, at altitudes of 3500-4300 m. Flowers during the months of May-November and in the regions of the Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh.
Dwarf Snow Rhododendron:
As the name suggests, this rhododendron species are very tiny, often gregarious shrublet found on drier alpine slopes. Flowers of this shrub are usually lavender or pink. Found in the Himalayan ranges, it falls perfectly in the state of Arunachal Pradesh at altitudes of 4500-5000m.
Tawang Rhododendron is a variety of Rhododendron neriiflorum found in the Bhutan-Arunachal-Tibet border area, particularly in Tawang. It is a shrub 1-3 m tall, usually falling off in flakes. Red Bell shaped flowers with its full blooming periods ranging from April-May; it is one of the many species of the rhododendron family found here in Arunachal Pradesh.
Arranged in what appears like a group of keys, another feature of a rhododendron member making it to the list. Arunachal Pradesh is like the rhododendron capital of the world with common and unique collections of several rhododendrons. This particular shrub bears an orange, salmon pink, to deep red flowers. Found enroute to Sangetsar lake, Arunachal Pradesh, this particular species is also commonly found in other states of the North-East.
Mishmi Hills phaius:
Mishmi Hills phaius is a terrestrial orchid named after the Mishmi Hills in Arunachal Pradesh where it was probably first found. The flowers of this orchid does not open fully, blooming in the fall and bear a pinkish hue. It is found at elevations of 500-2000m and distributed all across the North east.