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Mountain Flowers

   
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"The flowers and the mountains – together they suggest the opposite ends of the scale on which nature works. At one extreme operate the vast, apocalyptic forces that created the mountains; at the other, the intricate subtleties that produced a perfect flower; the first beyond man’s capacity to control; the second beyond his present capacity to comprehend. But, both equally deserving of his awe."

– from 100 Himalayan Flowers by Ashvin Mehta; Text by Prof. P V Bole; Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad

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Many of the flowers found in alpine meadows of the Himalayas are brilliantly coloured, like the deep red of Potentilla or the intense blue of the Blue Poppy. Some of them are even black, for example the Black Pea. This is an useful adaptation of these plants. Dark colours absorb light and heat, something that is in short supply in the mountains. Also the colours serve the same purpose that they do in the lowlands, attracting native insects that cross-pollinate the plants. In addition to the colour, some of these flowers have other adaptations to combat the severe weather conditions.

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