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Orchids

Gayfeather:More of a commercial importance but also bears a pretty appearance. It is used for cut flowers and attracting butterflies and bees. It has tall spikes of bright magenta-purple flowers. It is fairly tolerant to drought. Although, being a native of the United States, it has been successfully cultivated in Mizoram for commercial purposes and can be seen in nurseries, farms etc. Their appearance makes it a candidate legible for a great camera shot!
 
Wild nongmangkhais a large branched shrub measuring up to 3-4m in height. They have a toothed appearance at the ends, with its flower being long, tube like and reddish. It has medicinal utility and is used as a condiment. Its flowers can be eaten raw or fried as a tonic. Found across North East India and especially in Mizoram.
Bengal ginger:It is a ginger family plant native to North East India with bright red seed capsules which are very prominent, with showy patterned flowers- more during the winter. It could be considered as the most beautiful among the ginger family of plants. Found and cultivated in Mizoram in several regions.
East Himalayan begonia:This species of Begonia is found only in Eastern Himalayas, particularly around the North East regions of India. What sets this plant apart is red elongated dots on stems and branches. Flowers are white with a pinkish tinge, with a yellow center. Flowers during the months of July- September.
Tree Rhododendron:Found extensively in and around the Phawngpui Mountain, also known as the Blue Mountain. There is an entire garden of sorts dedicated to the rhododendron family and its conservation. It is one of the most impressive rhododendrons with its beautiful red bell shaped flowers which bear black nectar, and having black spots at the center. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.
Blue Vanda: One of the most popular Asiatic orchids, Vandas are very much in demand by its blue/purple, long lived flowers making it one of the few flowers having an almost true blue appearance as there are no exactly blue flowers found in the world. This amazing orchid is native to NE India where it grows in elevations ranging from 2500-4000 feet in the Himalayan foothills. In the state of Mizoram, it is extensively found in its serene hills.
Lahan:Photographed in several places of Mizoram, this annual herb has pointed bristles and purplish flower heads on erect stalks. It is a very pretty sight to view this photogenic flower.
Roselle:Native to tropical Africa, has since escaped cultivation and is seen growing in the wild. Roselles can be spotted along the Luangmual region of Aizwal, the capital of Mizoram. These are similar to the hibiscus flowers which are yellow with bright red sepals. Its sepals are used in making juices, jellies, wines and even pies. It flowers during the months of October-November.
Toothed habenariais a fairly large size orchid which has remarkable pointed floral bracts which make it seem very exotic. The flowers mostly seen are white in color. Very rarely found in India, but it is commonly found in regions of Bhutan, Nepal etc. It is commonly seen in the foothills of the hilly ranges in Mizoram.
Red vanda: This is the state flower of Mizoram, which perfectly matches its grace with the state. . It grows on small shrubs and trees at elevations of 300-500 m flowering during spring. It is one of the loveliest species in India with limited distribution. The multitude of flowers on a single branch are remarkably beautiful. Red Vanda is renowned for its bright crimson flowers with red spots on a pale orange background of its dorsal sepal and petals. It normally flowers during April and May. An orchid sanctuary has been established along the Myanmar border at Khawbung where this rare orchid can be admired along with other beautiful orchids too. It has been a matter of concern for the illegal trade of these orchids along the border and steps have been taken to preserve this rare beauty.

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