Collection, Identification and Conservation of Orchids, and Wild Edible and Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

Research and vegetation management on the site is not confined to trees and bushes. A focused effort is being made to identify, conserve, and encourage the growth of other useful species of plants that can offer opportunities for income generation, or supplementing diets or medicinal care.

So far some 35 different varieties of orchids have been found growing wild or have been introduced to the site. Plants have a potential for sale for garden landscaping and the cut flowers of many varieties are very long-lasting and are sold by florists. The Himalayan Region is a repository of medicinal herbs; and the Nepal Himalayas possess some of the most distinctive flora in the world. Nearly 100 species whose leaves, flowers, roots, bark, seeds or other parts are valued for their medicinal or aromatic qualities have been collected, identified, and conserved at the Knowledge Park at Godavari. These plants are important ingredients in food, medicine, perfumery, and cosmetics, and are used as garden plants. Research focuses on methods of growing larger quantities of some particularly interesting plants, and methods of collection and processing of others.

More than 50 wild edible plants have also been identified at the site, including plants with leaves and shoots that can be used as leaf vegetables, salad, and pickles, and plants that produce edible fruits and berries. Recognition of these plants can help farmers to improve and supplement their families’ diet.