The present book 'A handbook of the flowering plants of Nepal' is a list of the flowering
plants of Nepal. Considering the discussion held in the T" international editorial meeting of the flora
of Nepal in Kathmandu in January 2017 the Department of Plant Resources planned to compile all
the flowering plants reported from Nepal in three volumes as Handbooks. The plant list is based
on the herbarium specimens of the flowering plants collected in Nepal although it felt very much
difficult to the authors to compile all these specimens as these specimens are preserved in various
institutions in Nepal, India, Japan, Europe and America and most of them could not be checked out
by the authors. The present book is the first volume of the three books listing all the flowering plants
occurring in Nepal. In this study, an updated checklist of the flowering plants of Nepal is presented
based on the herbarium specimens collected from Nepal and given in available literature and online
resources relevant to new taxa, national or regional new records, and new taxonomic papers. In the
book 58 families of flowering plants reported from Nepal are presented.
I express my sincere thanks to Dr. Keshab Raj Rajbhandari, former Scientific Officer and
Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Rai, Deputy Director General of this Department for their painstaking efforts
to prepare the manuscript of this book. I am thankful to Mr. Subhash Khatri, Mr. Ganga Datt Bhatt
and Ms. Rita Chhetri of this Department for their help in managing the publication of this volume.
While preparing the present volume this Department has taken the help and cooperation in one form
or another from different institutions and the distinguished persons in the country and abroad. I would
like to record my thanks to them for their help in checking the specimens and identification of some of
the genera and families in the National Herbarium (KATH) at Godawari particularly to Ms. Lajmina
Joshi for Dilleniaceae, Ms. Radha Joshi for Sabiaceae, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Uprety for Buxaceae, Dr.
Ram Prasad Chaudhary for Anemone (Ranunculaceae), Dr. Futoshi Miyamoto and Ms. Rita Chhetri
for Juncaceae, Dr. Colin A. Pendry and Dr. Mahendra Nath Subedi for Lauraceae, Dr. Yuichi Kadota
and Dr. Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha for Aconitum (Ranunculaceae), Dr. Magnus Liden for Corydalis
(Papaveraceae), Ms. Polina Dmitrievna Gudkova for Stipa (Poaceae), Mr. Ganga Datt Bhatt for
Potamogetonaceae and Menispermaceae, Mr. Deepak Lamichhane for Paris (Melanthiaceae), Ms.
Seerjana Maharjan for Aletris (Nartheciaceae), Dr. Alan Elliot for Clematis (Ranunculaceae), Dr.
O. Yano and Dr. Teruo Katayama for Cyperaceae, Dr. Gordon C. Tucker and Dr. Mohan Siwakoti
for Cyperus (Cyperaceae), Dr. C. M. A. Stapleton for Bamboos (Poaceae), Dr. Devendra Manand
Bajracharya for Eria (Orchidaceae), Dr. Lokesh Ratna Shakya for Oberonia (Orchidaceae), Mr.
Shramik Mishra for Hedychium (Zingiberaceae), Mr. Sajan Subedi for Smilax (Smilacaceae), Ms.
Nirmala Phuyal for Arisaema (Araceae), Mr. Dambar Karkee for Chlorophytum (Asparagaceae),
Mr. Puran Prasad Kurmi for Asparagus (Asparagaceae), Mr. Kamal Maden for Annonaceae, Dr.
Bhaskar Adhikari for Berberis (Berberidaceae), Dr. Nirmala Joshi for Eriocaulaceae, Ms. Madhu
Devi Ghimire for Dioscoreaceae, Dr. Sangeeta Rajbhandary for Liliaceae, Mr. Gaurav Parmar for
Zephyranthes (Zingiberaceae), Ms. Vidya Keshari Manandhar and Dr. Jyoti Prasad Gajurel for
Commelinaceae. Thanks are also due to the Herbaria of the Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata,
Botanical Survey of India, Western Circle, Dehra Dun, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India,
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Natural History Museum, London, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh,
U. K., University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, Tohoku University, Japan and the Smithsonian
Institution, Washington DC., USA, for helping to identify plant materials and providing necessary
facilities whenever staff from the National Herbarium of this Department were deputed to these
intstitutions in connection with the plant identification works. I am grateful to Mr. Rajdev Prasad
Yadav, former Director General of this Department, Dr. Mark F. Watson of the Royal Botanical
Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, U. K. and Dr. Hiroshi Ikeda of the University of Tokyo, Japan, for their
suggestions to improve the manuscript.
The systematic plant explorations by Nepalese botanists started when 'the Department of Medicinal
Plants' (now, the Department of Plant Resources) was established in 1961 under the Ministry of Forests and
oil Conservation, the Government of Nepal. The National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories (KATH), is one
of the offices in this Department, which is established for plant explorations throughout the country, collections
and documentation of the herbarium specimens and to publish flora of Nepal. As early as 1961 when the
Department of Medicinal Plants was established it was planned that the Department would publish flora of
Nepal within five years by 1966. But due to lack of adequate herbarium specimens, literature and trained
manpower related to the flora in the Department the plan could not move ahead as desired and it was realized
that these were the pre-requisites required to work for the flora. The Department then planned to achieve them,
i. e., adequate herbarium specimens, literature and trained manpower related to the flora. There are now more
than 150000 vascular plant specimens preserved in the herbarium (Rajbhandari, 20 IS). Recently, 'Catalogue
of Nepalese flowering plants Parts 1-3 and Supplement l' have been published by the National Herbarium
(Rajbhandari and Baral, 20 I 0, Rajbhandari et aI., 20 II, 2012, 20 IS). According to the Catalogues there are
specimens of 4443 species under 1403 genera and 203 families of flowering plants in the National Herbarium.
It is estimated that there are about 6000 flowering plant species in Nepal. It was realized that it was difficult
for the Department alone to publish comprehensive flora of Nepal although it had taken responsibility to do so
(Rajbhandari, 1976). Hence, to materialize the project, flora of Nepal had been conceived as a collaborative
project (Rajbhandari, 2002, 20 15a, 2016).
Flora of Nepal is a reflection of unique geographic position and altitudinal and climatic variations
existing within the country. Nepal is situated in the central portion of the Himalayas which is the transitional
zone between the eastern and western Himalayan elements. The 'Flora of Nepal' not only provides the names
of Nepalese plants but also the much needed baseline data for environmental and climate change studies,
biodiversity inventories, conservations prioritization, and the sustainable use of natural resources. The
publication of the 'Flora of Nepal' is a major nation-building event and a crucial tool in maintaining Nepal's
fragile habitats (Watson et aI., 2011).
It had been realized that for the successful implementation of the Nepal flora project, collaboration
and active involvement of the international institution was essential. Such collaboration was required not only
for generating necessary funds, but also in writing and editing taxonomic accounts that would lead to the
publication of a standard and high quality flora. Thus the 'Flora of Nepal' had been conceived as an international
project. During the period from 1993-2003 many activities had been undertaken for the development of the
Flora of Nepal Project by the Department of Plant Resources (Rajbhandari, 2004). In August 1991 a co-
operative program of the Department of Plant Resources and the University Tokyo for the preparation offlora
of Nepal was proposed. In 1994 the University of Tokyo agreed to work on this project and the agreement
was forwarded to the Department of Plant Resources. Several meetings were arranged in Kathmandu by the
Department of Plant Resources to manage for the publication of' Flora of Nepal' (Rajbhandari, 2004). As
a result in July 1997, the Nepal Flora Implementation Project was started under the Department of Plant
Resources to produce comprehensive account of information on plant resources of Nepal. In July 1999, a joint
project for preparing Flora of Nepal had been developed with Nepal Academy of Science and Technology
(formerly Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, Nepal), the Natural History Museum (formerly
Briti h Museum, Natural History, London, U. K.), the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (U. K.) and the
University of Tokyo (Japan) as collaborators. The recent activities on the preparation of the flora of Nepal are
summarized by Rajbhandari et al. (2017).
The complete flora of Nepal will be the first comprehensive record of all the vascular plants of
Nepal including keys and descriptions to aid identification, distribution maps to assess rarity and geographic
spread, authoritative scientific names to promote communication, synonyms to help interpret previous
works and supplementary information such as ecology, phenology, ethnobotanical uses and discussion
on taxonomic issues (Watson et aI., 2011). The flora of Nepal will account for all the species of flowering
plants known to occur in Nepal.
The first editorial meeting of the international Nepal Flora Project was held at the Royal Botanic
Garden Edinburgh (U. K.) in May, 2002 (Watson & Blackmore, 2003). The meeting proposed to publish
flora of Nepal in ten volumes and would publish all ten volumes by 2012 in the sequence of Englerian
system of plant classification. After 15 years the T" international editorial meeting was held in Kathmandu
in January 2017 with only one published volume of flora of Nepal (volume 3 published in 2011) as its
progress. The meeting experienced that the current rate of progress in completing the Flora of Nepal
knowledge base is lamentably slow, in fact too slow to satisfy current demands for data needed to address
the alarming decline in biodiversity resulting from habitat destruction and climate change as noted earlier
by Watson et al. (2010). The meeting stressed need of updating the status and cataloguing all the flowering
plants found in Nepal.
The most important publication for the flora of Nepal is 'An enumeration of the flowering plants
of Nepal Vols. 1-3' edited by H. Hara, A. O. Chater, W. T. Stearn and L. H. J. Williams and published in
1978-1982, which enumerate the flowering plants of Nepal collected since 1802 by Buchanan-Hamilton
and published in 1825 by David Don as 'Prodromus fiorae Nepalensis' up to 1978 by Hideo Tabata's team.
After the publication of the 'Enumeration' several other books on Nepalese flowering plants were published,
such as 'Name list of the flowering plants and gymnosperms of Nepal' by Koba et al. (1994), 'Annotated
checklist of the flowering plants of Nepal' by Press et al. (2000), 'Flowering plants of Nepal' by Bista et
al. (2001) and 'Bioresources of Nepal' (Sharma, 2014). These books were based on 'An enumeration of
the flowering plants of Nepal volumes 1-3' with some additions of new names. The 'Enumeration' books
of Hara et al. are now three and half decades old and after its publication many new species, new records
of flowering plants from Nepal and many name changes have been noted down till now. Recently, the
development of the taxonomic studies of Nepalese flowering plants from 1802 to 2017 has been reviewed
and presented in the book 'Flowering plants of Nepal: An introduction' by Rajbhandari et al. (2017).
Being one of the signatory countries of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD 1992),
the National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan (NBSAP) 2014-2020 prepared by the Government of
Nepal expressed the need of publishing complete Flora of Nepal by 2020. However, all the remaining nine
volumes of Flora of Nepal seem to be far from being completed within 2020. At present, we do not have an
up to date book cataloguing all the flowering plants of Nepal. Therefore, considering the discussion held in
the T" international editorial meeting of the flora of Nepal the Department of Plant Resources planned to
bring out a list of all the flowering plants found in Nepal.
The present book is the first volume of the three books listing all the flowering plants occurring in
Nepal. In this study, an updated checklist of the flowering plants of Nepal is presented based on all recently
available literature and online resources relevant to new taxa, national or regional new records, and new
taxonomic papers. The families in the present book are arranged according to the classification system of
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group version IV (Byng et aI., 2016). In the book 58 families of flowering plants
reported from Nepal are included.
The present book is based on the herbarium specimens of the flowering plants collected in Nepal.
It felt very much difficult to compile all these specimens as these specimens are preserved in various
institutions in Nepal, India, Japan, Europe and America (Table I) and most of them could not be checked
out by the authors. However, the specimens published in various articles and books have been cited in this Book.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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Original Texts (232)
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Tibetan Healing (133)
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