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Early Bloom of Uttarakhand's State Tree Points to Climate Crisis

  • 29 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

Buransh, Uttarakhand's state tree, has blossomed earlier than expected, raising concerns among scientists and environmentalists.

Key Points

  • The tree, scientifically known as Rhododendron, is known for its vibrant display of red flowers that dominate Uttarakhand hills as it bursts out from the woody bushes of the tree.
  • According to scientists at ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, this is pseudo-flowering or forced flowering due to climatic shifts.
    • Normally, these flowers are seen to blossom during March and April across the mid-altitude terrain.
  • The untimely blossoming has raised concerns regarding potential reductions in the medicinal potency of the flower.
    • Renowned for its abundance of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C, this flower is also ingested as an appetizer to alleviate mountain sickness and seasonal ailments.
    • It is recognised for its effectiveness in mitigating excessive bleeding during menstruation in women.
    • The flower possesses medicinal properties beneficial for the heart, liver, skin allergies, and antiviral purposes.
  • According to the Meteorologists global warming is changing the usual weather patterns, causing unusual temperatures and less rain.
  • The usual winter disturbances that bring cold weather here have been weak, happening less often and not as strong.
    • Due to this, there was not enough rain in December and January in the hilly areas. Both the highest and lowest temperatures were higher than usual.
    • As the world warms, scientists are concerned that more such changes in the flora and fauna are expected.

The Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI)

  • It is an autonomous institute of higher learning, established under the umbrella of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) by the Ministry of Agriculture, for advanced research in the field of soil sciences.
  • The institute is located in Karnal, Haryana. It was established in 1969.
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