The Himalayas are home to more alpine plants than any other region. About 50 million years ago, the land was pushed three miles up when the Indian subcontinent began colliding with Eurasia. Today, vegetation is still rising as the Himalayas grow taller. Dramatic environmental changes create dramatic plants. The noble rhubarb (Rheum nobile)creates a “glasshouse” with see-through bracts (specialized leaves) that warm and protect developing flowers from harmful UV radiation underneath.
The most anticipated flower in our gardens is the Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis). About 40 species of this poppy have been identified in the Himalayas including Meconopsis betonicifolia, discovered by George Mallory on a failed attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1922.