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Author Topic: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.  (Read 19467 times)

alanelliott

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2014, 04:00:34 PM »
It must be Christmas. Two posts in one day...

We had a rest day to catch up on admin and processing specimens at our Sen Khola Camp. This was also to allow us a bit of acclimatising time as we'd be heading over 4500m the next day.

The following day left camp at 7.15am and head along the trail following the Sen Khola until it abruptly turned NW and we start gaining altitude. It was slow going and we were all feeling the lack of air. It was a convenient reason to stop and collect the odd plant to catch our breath.


Out of breath Scotsman with a knife (what a sterotype) about to dissect a Meconopsis horridula to make a couple of specimens from a single plant.

One of our Nepalese colleagues, Ganga Dhutt, seemed to be the only one with energy and went bounding off finding the Meconopsis horridula and Saussaurea graminifolia.

We past an area strewn with the remains of a camp and were told it was the scene of a battle, including graves, where the Nepalese army had assulted a Maoist camp.

The vegetation beyond there changed from subalpine pasture to a true alpine flora at about 4200m. We began to see more Meconopsis horridula, Sausaurrea gossipifera and Sausaurrea graminifolia and Corydalis macrocaylx. We also walked through a 20 minute hail storm with booming thunder which heading up to the watershed at 4500m.


Hail storm

We stopped for camp at 4300m, the air was cold and the vegetation was sparse because of late snowbeds on the North facing slopes only recently melted from how flattened the vegetation was. The only really interesting plants to be found around camp were the fragrant Rhododendron lepidotum and Aconitum hookeri.


Saussurea gossypiphora


Meconopsis horridula


Corydalis macrocaylx - find of the day
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 04:03:56 PM by alanelliott »
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ichristie

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2014, 05:11:37 PM »
Fantastic report and pictures Alan you must be used to the rain 9it is the same in Forfar busy to tidy up the garden for winter love the Meconopsis pictures,  cheers Ian the Christie kind
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krisderaeymaeker

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2014, 06:05:22 PM »
Winter time is ideal to do some reading and also read the things you've missed in the busy season .
What a nice report , thanks for sharing this Alan . And that Corydalis is a fantastic plant ! :o
Kris De Raeymaeker
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Stephenb

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2014, 07:51:12 PM »
Manandhar's plants and people of Nepal have a couple of species listed as eaten for food. R. acuminatum and R. australe is down as pickled before eating where as R. nobile can be eaten fresh. R. australe and R. nobile also down as having medicinal uses like smoking dried leaves to relieve sinus problems. Each to their own.

As in most cultures around the world, vegetables were either preserved by lactofermentation or by simple drying. In Nepal, rhubarb and other spring greens were made into Gundruk - first fermented and unlike, for example, kimchi in Korea, gundruk is dried after the fermentation. When rhubarb first came to Europe it was eaten as a vegetable (I have old recipes) or as a medicinal. Similarly, where the wild species of Rheum grew in Asia, it was wild foraged as a vegetable not as a "fruit" as it's now considered, wrongly..  :)

I don't know if it's the same over there in the UK, but here in Norway there are lactofermentation courses being held regularly all over the country - a new phenomenon over the last 4 years or so! Before that, it was only cabbage that was fermented as sauerkraut...

« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 07:56:33 PM by Stephenb »
Stephen
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Maggi Young

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2014, 07:56:41 PM »
......... where the wild species of Rheum grew in Asia, it was wild foraged as a vegetable not as a "fruit" as it's now considered, wrongly..  :)

   Well, you can say that Stephen - but I don't have custard on my vegetables ........
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Stephenb

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2014, 07:58:04 PM »
...nor do I, Maggi :)
Stephen
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Maggi Young

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2014, 08:01:07 PM »
That's a relief ......I hadn't seen any mention of it in your  rather excellent book. I'm sure I would have noticed if you had advocated custard on parsnips.... ::)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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alanelliott

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2014, 07:50:35 AM »
Winter time is ideal to do some reading and also read the things you've missed in the busy season .
What a nice report , thanks for sharing this Alan . And that Corydalis is a fantastic plant ! :o
Thanks Kris. There is more to come so there is still time to get bored of it.
And yes the Corydalis was a great wee thing.

Al
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alanelliott

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2014, 07:52:46 AM »
Fantastic report and pictures Alan you must be used to the rain 9it is the same in Forfar busy to tidy up the garden for winter love the Meconopsis pictures,  cheers Ian the Christie kind

Cheers Ian. That hail storm was something else through. I've never experienced weather like it.
Back up to Forfar for the festivities on Monday. Will pop down to the botanists garden at some point to have a nosey.

Al
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johnw

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2014, 12:52:08 PM »
Alan  - Great to follow this expedition.

Is there a chance we will get to see the Rhododendron lepidotum?  Is it not the highest altitude rhodo, but not necassarily so very hardy?

johnw
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Maggi Young

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2014, 01:51:04 PM »
Alan's blog post  "Into the Flora of megadiverse Himalayas"   http://researchhimalaya.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/the-flora-of-nepal-project/
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alanelliott

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2015, 10:59:32 AM »
Alan  - Great to follow this expedition.

Is there a chance we will get to see the Rhododendron lepidotum?  Is it not the highest altitude rhodo, but not necassarily so very hardy?

johnw

John sorry for taking a while to reply.

Rhododendron lepidotum in Nepal has an altitudinal range from 2000m - 4650m (6500ft - 15,000ft). We saw it around Kayam at 2600m in an open ridge in Quercus forest and also up at 4300-4400m sub-alpine grassland.  Up at that highest altitude they will be under a thick blanket of snow to thermally insulate them from the worst of the cold. So yes not the most hardy despite the altitude.


Habitat


Rhododendron  lepidodtum

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johnw

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2015, 01:54:21 PM »
Alan  - Thanks for the pictures, they were well worth the wait. Marvelous colour.  That's quite an increible altitudinal range, the lower elevations are a surprise.  I do find it hard to imagine a small-leafed lepidote growing in oak woods though, were those woods open to plenty of sunlight?

johnw - -11c & brilliant sunshine
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alanelliott

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2015, 09:56:56 AM »
Alan  - Thanks for the pictures, they were well worth the wait. Marvelous colour.  That's quite an increible altitudinal range, the lower elevations are a surprise.  I do find it hard to imagine a small-leafed lepidote growing in oak woods though, were those woods open to plenty of sunlight?

johnw - -11c & brilliant sunshine

It is possible that they were some sort of "amenity planting" at the deurali. Even so it was growing happily.


Rhododendron lepidotum growing where the porters were resting.

Al
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ichristie

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Re: Flora of Nepal expedition 2014- Baglung, Rukum, Dolpa.
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2015, 07:10:54 PM »
Hello Alan once again some fantastic plants and information wish I were with you,  cheers Ian the Christie kind
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