The natural vegetation of Nepal follows the pattern of climate and altitude.
A tropical, moist zone of deciduous vegetation occurs in the Tarai and the Churia Range.
These forests consist mainly of khair (Acacia catechu), a spring tree with yellow flowers
and flat pods; sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), an East Indian tree yielding dark brown durable
timber; and sal (Shorea robusta), an East Indian timber tree with foliage providing food for
lac insects (which deposit lac, a resinous substance used for the manufacture of shellac
and varnishes, on the tree's twigs).
On the Mahabharat Range, at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, vegetation consists of a mixture of
many species, chiefly pines, oaks, rhododendrons, poplars, walnuts, and larch. Between 10,000 and 12,000 feet,
fir mixed with birch, as well as rhododendron, abound.
The vast forested area below the timber line in the Great Himalaya Range bears some of the most valuable
forests in Nepal, containing spruce, fir, cypress, juniper, and birch. Alpine vegetation occupies higher parts of the
Great Himalaya Range. Just below the snow line, between 14,000 and 15,000 feet, grassy vegetation affords
favourable grazing ground in summer.
PREVIOUS PAGE (climate) |
NEXT PAGE (animals)