Sikkim, the smallest State with less than 1% of India’s landmass, is home to 27% of all flowering plants found in the country, reveals a recent publication by the Botanical Survey of India. 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 opportunities for herbs and trees to grow and thrive.

“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,” Rajib Gogoi, Scientist and Regional Head, BSI, Gangtok, and the lead author of the publication, said.

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.

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