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Ladakh Flora

The flora of Ladakh comprises about 880 species. Ladakh is rich repository of medicinal and aromatic plants and other important plants which are closely associated with daily life of local inhabitants of the region.

Flora in Ladakh

Aconitum violaceum

Aconitum violaceum

Common name: Aconite, Patees
Local Name: Bona-nagpo
Aconitum violaceum is a perennial herb with a stem of 15-30 cm and leaves 4-8 cm across, palmately cut to the base into narrow segments. Flowers in dense spike, dark blue, 2-2.5 cm, bracts small, linear. Follicles around 3-5, hairy. The flowering and fruiting of this is frm Mid-June to August. It is found along water streams and moist places in Nubra, Zanskaar and Suru valleys between 2960-3600 m altitude. The roots are used against cold, cough, asthma, fever and gastric problems. Air-Dried roots of the plants are reported to contain 1 percent indaconitine.

Anaphalis triplinervis

Anaphalis Triplinervis

Local Name: Phulumentok or sPra-rgod
Anaphalis triplinervis is a dwarf tufted alpine herb whose stems are leafy and measures around 4-5 cms. It has many leaves which are narrow lanceolate, white wolly, entire or toothed. Flowering and fruiting is from Mid-July to August. It is found in alpine rocks and dry places in Leh and Nubra valleys. A very attractive high alpine herb. The paste of flower heads is used against wounds. The stem, leaves, flowers and fruits are beneficial in chronic diseases and genital problems.

Aquilegia Fragrans

Aquilegia Fragrans

Common Name: Columbine
Aquilegia Fragrans is a sweet scented perennial it's stem measures 40-80 cm, much branched, covered with glandular hairs. Leaves are compound, leaflets 3-lobed with shallow teeth, more or less glaucose above. Flowering and fruiting is from July to mid-September. It is found along watter streams and moist places in Nubra and Suru Valleys between 2950-3205 m altitude. It is iused as an ornamental plant because of attractive and fragrant flowers in spike.

Arnebia guttata

Arnebia Guttata

Common Name: Ratanjot
Local Name: Demjok
Arnebia guttata is a very Tufted very bristly haired perennial herb. Stem are branched covered with the base. Leaves are strap shaped, blunt covered with bristly white hairs. Flowering and fruiting June to September. It is found on dry sandy places in Changthang and Leh valleys at an altitude of around 3870 m. the root is used in Sowa Rigpa system of pulmonary problems. Roots yield an edible and fat soluble red dye, which is used by the local people for colouring dishes and sweets.

Biebersteinia odara

Biebersteinia Odara

Local Name: Khardung
Biebersteinia odara a strong aromatic, perennial herb with densely tufted rootstock. Leaves are usually fern like, linear; leaflets broadly ovate, deeply lobed. Flowering and fruiting is from July to August. It is found in rocky places in Leh and Changhong valleys upto 4890m altitude. The leaves contain very low quantity of about 0.1% of aromatic oil.

Capparis spinosa

Capparis Spinosa

Local name: Kabra
Capparis spinosa is a diffuse and prostrate, perennial shrub or climber with yellow hooked spines. Leaves are variable, ovate to elliptic with a minute sharp point at the tip. Flowers are large, white to purple with numerous long stamens, long-stalked, borne on axils of leaves. Flowering & fruiting is from June to August. It is found in dry rocks and stony slopes along roadside in Leh, Nubra and Suru valleys between 3,020-3,890 m altitude.

Gentiana algida

Gentiana Algida

Common name: Tiktas
Gentiana algida ia a small tufted, perennial herb. Rootstock often covered with old, leafy bases. Stern are suberect. Basal leaves linear-oblong, spathulate, blunt, thick; cauline leaves lanceolate. Flowering & fruiting is from mid-July to September. It is found in open moist slopes in suru, Changthung and Leh valleys at an altitude of around 3,930 m. The flowers are used against inflammation of pharynx, bronchitis, cough, hoarseness of hroat, excess sputum, toxic and epidemic fevers. It has a bitter taste with a cooling potency.

Hippophae rhamnoides

Hippophae Rhamnoides

Common name: Seabuckthorn
Local name: Tsermang or tsestalulu.
Hippophae rhamnoides is a dwarf, very thorny, perennial shrub or small tree. Stem are woody, erect, long upto 10-15 ft with silvery-waxy covering on the old shoots, oblong blunt to green above and scaly on both sides.Flowering and fruiting is from June to September. It is found on river belts and wastelands in Leh, Nubra, Zanskarr, Suru and get enormous medicinal properties. Seabuckthorn is considered as a storehouse of vitamin C,A,B,EK, and ceretenoids etc. Besides the plant has an excellent fodder and fuel value.

Juniperus indica

Juniperus Indica

Common name: Common juniper
Local name: Shukpa
Juniperus indica is a medium long growing shrub. It's leaves are crowned needle like, acute apex. Male cones avoid, recalling leaf buds. Flowering and fruiting starts from March to September. It is found in the drier areas and cultivated lands in Leh and Suru valleys at an altitude of around 3,450 m. The fragrant leaves and barkbare used as incense by Buddhists. The fruits are used as febrifuge, anti-inflammatory, purgative; useful for treating constipation, gout, menstrual problem, inflammation of lung, liver spleen, kidney and gall bladder.

Lancea tibetica

Lancea Tibetica

Local Name: Raikse or Chagna or sPa-yang rtsa-ba
Lancea tibetica is a small stemless herb. Leaves are oblong-ovate to spathulate, opposite entire, narrowed to a short half clasping leaf-stalk. Flowers bright mauve, 2 lipped borne in central clusters. Flowering and fruiting starts from July to September. It is found at moist places in Leh and Suru valleys at an altitude of around 3,496 m. The extract of the whole plant is recommended by the Amchis as a tonic. The plant contains oleanolic acid and two lignans phillygenol and lantibeside.

Podophyllum hexandrum
Podophyllum Hexandrum

Common Name: Himalayan mayapple
Local Name: Demokusu, papra, olmose
Podophyllum hexandrum is a perennial scapigerous herb. Stem modified into underground rhizomes. Leaves two, 10-25 cm, deeply cut into 3 ovate toothed lobes. Flowers solitary, terminal white or pink, cup shaped. Flowering and fruiting starts from May to August. The entire plant is used for gynaecological disease like menstrual irregularity, disease of the uterus and improves lung and blood circulation, helps delivery of the baby and in expulsion of placenta. The young and ripe fruit are edible and useful against high altitude mountain sickness. The rhizomes and roots of the plant constitute the drug "podophyllin" as podophylltoxin.

Thylacospermum Caespitosum
Thylacospermum Caespitosum

Local Name: Tagaracan
Thylacospermum caespitosum is a large hard compact cushion forming herb. Leaves are minute, triangular, overlapping. Flowers are solitary, sessile, 2.5 mm across. Capsule spherical coriaceous. Flowering and fruiting starts from July to September. It is found at stony slopes in Leh and Changthang valleys, at an altitude of around 5,750 m. It is an important fuel plant of Ladakh for higher regions. The whole plant is uprooted for fuel purpose.

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