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Reviving Rhododendrons: Nagaland resident establishes Rhododendron park in Jakhama

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Guwahati, Jan 17: Keluhol Tase, a resident of Jakhama village in Nagaland’s Kohima district, is on a mission to revive and conserve the vibrant rhododendron species in the region.

For Tase, rhododendrons hold sentimental value, symbolising his childhood memories spent in the family’s potato fields along the Dzukou valley.

Dzukou valley, renowned for its rich flora and fauna, has been a tourist attraction, drawing admirers for its diverse rhododendron population.

It is a large genus of about 1,000 species of woody plants, with as many as 87 identified in the Indian Himalayan region, according to a 2010 study in the American Journal of Plant Sciences.

Rhododendron flowers exhibit a spectrum of colors, from white and pink to red, orange, and purple. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these flowers are known for their medicinal properties.

In Nagaland, R arboreum, characterised by its bright red petals, holds significance as the state flower. Local traditions attribute therapeutic properties to rhododendron petals, suggesting they can aid in fish bones stuck in the throat and treating inflammation linked to gout, arthritis, or bronchitis.

Unfortunately, these iconic plants are under threat due to factors such as tree felling, habitat destruction, and susceptibility to pests and diseases. Recognising the need for conservation, Tase embarked on a mission to preserve the rhododendron species.

Together with his two brothers, Tase went to Dzukou valley and the Japfü mountain, Nagaland’s second-highest peak located in Kohima, to collect rhododendron saplings. Returning to his family’s 2.02-hectare land in Jakhama, they planted the saplings.

In 2022, after cultivating 500 rhododendron plants spanning six species, Tase officially inaugurated the area as a rhododendron park.

Also Read: Violence in Manipur’s Moreh: Militant attacks, tragic loss of two Police personnel, and arson incidents unfold

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