|Botanical Name||:||Rhododendron arboreum|
|Common Name||:||Guras, burans or laliguras|
Rhododendron is a genus of 1,024 species of woody plants in the Ericaceae family. It is either evergreen or deciduous having wide distribution in Asia. In India, the genus Rhododendron is represented by about 80 species. It is distributed mainly in different regions and altitudes of Himalayas with a greater concentration in the temperate region of the Eastern Himalayas.
Rhododendrons are among the most popular flowering plants that adorn the mountains with attractive flowers of different shades. Its flower colors ranges from white to the deepest red and attain a height from tall trees of over 40 feet to scrub of only few feet high. The Rhododendron habitat ranges from subtropical and temperate to subalpine ecosystems. It has fibrous roots which is mostly occur in high rainfall, humid temperate regions of highly organic well-drained acidic soils. The Rhododendron forests are often regarded as indicator forest type forming habitat to several key mammals, avifauna and insects of the region. Beside ecological significance blooming Rhododendrons plays a vital component in boosting nature-based activities, as the eco-tourists get fascinated to witness the striking flowers bloom in its natural habitat.
Rhododendron arboreum is an evergreen small tree with a showy display of bright red flowers. It is distributed across the hilly region of India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Thailand. In India, it is the state tree of Uttarakhand, and state flower of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.