The flowering plants (spermatophytes) in the flora of Bhutan total 4,170 species in 1,415 genera and 220 families. Of these, approximately 5.9 % (246 species) are introduced and naturalized and are typically associated with pastures, road clearings and other human disturbances. There are no endemic families but a single genus (Cromapanax Grierson) under Araliaceae is endemic to Bhutan. However, there are about 128 species (3.07 %), which are endemic to Bhutan. Orchidaceae with 14 species and Primulaceae with 12 species are families with more than 10 endemic species. There are about 99 species, which are found only in Bhutan and adjacent areas of Sikkim, SE Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Yunnan and West Bengal. These species could be described as near endemic.
The wild flora also includes several plant species of enormous commercial and scientific values. The Himalayan yew Taxus baccata (subspecies wallichiana) is known to have cancer-curing properties and the Chinese caterpillar fungus Cordyceps sinensis has multiple therapeutic and clinical properties, thus commanding a very high price in the international market. Other examples include: Podophyllum hexandrum, Aconitum lacinatum, Delphinium bronanianum, Pleurospermum amabile, Gentiana unrulla, Corydalis gerdae, Parnassia ovata, and Polygonatum verticilliatum for their valuable alkaloids and various medicinal properties; Allium spp, Fritillaria spp, and Lilium spp as wild gene pools for future crop research; and Rheum nobile, Pterocephalus hookeri, Aster spp, Senecio spp, Saussurea spp, Rhododendron spp, Geranium spp, Meconopsis spp, Epilobium spp, Anemone spp, and Potentilla pedicularis as potential horticultural crops for ornamental purpose.
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