19 November 2013

Wild Flowers of Mongolia's Khangai Mountains - Tuesday's Snapshot

The diversity of plant life in Mongolia is shaped largely by the complex geography of the land. V.I Grubov (a renowned expert on Mongolian flora) divided the country into 16  plant-geographical regions each defined by its own characteristic composition of landscape and vegetation. Throughout the season, during our trips, we come into contact  with a wide variety of Mongolia’s flora which varies depending on the location – whether desert, steppe or mountain. It can be the delicacy of some in such a harsh environment, or the vivid colour against a vast terrain. I am not an expert but with the help of the books we carry as part of our library, I thought I would  share some of the beauty we have come across in 2013.

 Yellow Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla flavescens) 

This perennial herb flowers towards the end of May and into June. You will find it growing on steppe hillsides and within meadows. In traditional Mongolian medicine, the roots are used for treating scurvy, broken bones and diarrhoea. 
Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)

This flower grows in July  and can be found with the high mountain to steppe zone. It also grows within marshy and steppe meadow, alongside river and stream banks and within larch forest glade. The roots and flowers are used to treat diarrhoea and to suppress bleeding.

Edelweiss (Leontopodium ochroleucum)

Edelweiss can be found in August on the dry steppe.  In ancient Mongolia, it was used to make a footpad for boots to help treat low blood pressure.
Alpine Aster (Aster aplinus) - seen here with a beautiful Globe Thistle

Flowers in July to August within high mountain and forest steppe. It can also be found on rocky, gravel mountain slopes and within meadows and larch forest. In traditional Mongolian medicine, flowers are used to treat low body temperature.
The Asian Globeflower (Trollius asiaticus)

Flowers from June until July in meadow, by forest edges, and within forest glades. It is called Asian Globeflower as it only grows in Asia. In traditional Mongolian medicine, the flowers are boiled to make tea to treat angina and mixed with other plants to apply to open cuts to help scabs form.