Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows

This ecoregion in Jammu and Kashmir, where northwestern India, northeastern Pakistan, and southwestern China intersect, is one of the last remaining cold desert wilderness areas. In late spring the meadows explode briefly in a colorful tapestry of delphinium, gentian, poppy, roseroot, lousewort, anemone, and aster flowers. The ecoregion represents a narrow band of alpine scrub and meadows between 3,300 and 3,600 m, especially in the Kashmir Valley. The shrub vegetation consists of stunted, twisted Rhododendron and juniper scrub, deformed by the cold unrelenting wind, and known as ‘krummholz’. It has near-evergreen scrub of stunted birch and Rhododendron, meadows with diverse herb and grass community, and bare scree habitats with cushion-forming plants such as Caragana, Saxifraga, and Draba.

Source: Modified from One Earth CC BY-NC