Rhododendron flower | Prelims 2020 | UPSC
COVID-19 lockdown impacts rhododendron flower collection in Uttarakhand
WHY IN NEWS:
The collection of rhododendron flowers has reduced 60-70 per cent this year because of the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity:Flora
For PRELIMS in UPSC rhododendron flower has its own importance ! For example Flowering stages can be asked . Any of its key feature can be put down in MCQ’s.
For MAINS go through the habitat destruction and usage .
GLIMPSE OF RHODODENDRON
Rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum), commonly known as burans in Uttarakhand, is the state’s official tree.
- The collection of rhododendron flowers is linked to the livelihood of the locals, who sell them either as flowers or processed juice.
- The rhododendron is also sought after by the pharmaceutical industry.
- At the local level, however, activity is limited only to collecting flowers, the sweet and sour taste of which is the reason for preparing squash, jams, jellies and local brews.
- Fresh petals are also used to prepare chutney (a kind of paste consumed with other food items).
- Rhododendron flowers have religious and cultural values as well.
- Its leaves are traditionally used to treat headaches, while its bark is used to get relief from cough and dysentery.
- Raw flowers are also a local delicacy.
- Rhododendron is found in the eastern to western Himalayan regions and belongs to the Ericaceae family.
- The word rhododendron is derived from the Greek word rhodo which means rose and dendron which means tree.
With a reducing rhododendron tree population in natural forests due to anthropogenic pressure, it is alarming to supply flowers every year without a proper regeneration plan for the species.