Uttarakhand is the state located at the foothills of the snow clad Himalayas with lush green vegetation. There is a diverse range of flora and fauna habitated in Uttarakhand. The State has rich and diverse floral, faunal and microbial wealth including rare and threatened species of plants and animals.
Uttarakhand’s vegetation cover is about 60 percent of the total surface area. Uttarakhand is very rich in terms of flora and is replete with a tremendously wide variety of vegetation. There is significant diversity in natural vegetation, because of its variation in geographical conditions. The diverse climatic conditions along with other features like soil quality, rainfall, temperature etc are responsible for the variety of vegetation which grow at different altitudes.
The flora of this region can be categorized into :-
The sub-tropical region up to an altitude of 4000 ft. is the abode of Sal forests and at an altitude of about 5000 ft. pine begins to dominate along with Oak. Apricot, guava, plum and peach are the major fruit species of the state. Flowers like sun flower, geraniums, asters, lilies, roses, anemones, marigold, primula, gerberas, dahlias, hydrangeas, gladiolas are commonly found in this region. Brahma kamal, aconites, buras, poppy, roji, pastoris, ligujeriya, Thimus lainearus, jaisiyana etc are some other flower plants which are abundantly found in the Valley of flowers in district Chamoli. This region also has 225 species of ornamental plants which have immense horticultural and potential importance. Acrides, coelogyne, thunia, dendrobium etc are some examples of ornamental plants which are found at places like Mandai,
Baram, Dafia Dhoora, Kaflani, Shandev etc . An amazing range of medicinal plants and herbs also grow in the state. Ranikhet area is replete with approximately 4000 species of medicinal plants. The slopes of the mountains are covered by immense grasslands, which are called bugyals (alpine pastures) in Uttarakhand. Bugyals are well known for rich and diversified vegetation. These grasslands or Bugyal are found between tree line and snow line that is between altitudes 4,000 and 5000 m. These Bugyals are flat and sloppy lands carpeted with green grass and seasonal flowers, which is very nutritious fodder for goats, sheep, cattle and other animals. These grasslands were covered with birch and juniper in the past but now they have been cleared to serve many purposes. Dol, Hatthajari, Bal chari, Kutaki, Jatamansi etc are some other common plants,which are used for curing many incurable disease. The major Bugyals of Uttarakhand are:-
Auli and Gorson Bugyals are near Joshimath, at an altitude of about 3049 m.
Dayara Bugyal in Uttarkashi district
Panwali and Kush-Kalyani Bugyals lying on the way to Gangotri and Kedarnath
Dayara Bugyal is in Uttarkashi district
Bedni Bugyal is near mundoli and it is at a height of 3,354 m.
Panwali and Kush- Kalyani Bugyals are on the way to Gangotri and Kedarnath.
Chopta Bugyal ( on the way to Ukhimath Gopewhwer),
Jaurai Bugyal(on the way of sahastra tal),
Masartal and Sahastra tal ke Bugyal ( near Budha kedar),
Kotaali ki hari Bugyal,
Kalpnath Bugyal ( on the way to Badrinath),
Chayagaad Bugyal ( in Uttarkashi district).
Har ka dun Bugyal is one of the most beautiful Bugyals of Garahwl ( in Uttarkashi district),
Dayara Bugyal ( in Uttarkashi),
Auli- gurso ka Bugyal ( about 5.0 km. from Joshimatah),
Kathling ka Bugyal ( after Gangi village)
Rup kund ka Bugyal ( on the way to Rishikash)