Published: Monday 15 July 2002

-- The national flower of Nepal, rhododendron, is fast being pushed into oblivion. Thanks to unchecked clearance of bushes and butterfly larvae feeding on plants. In the past, rhododendron bushes were common in the northern belt of Jhapa district. However, they have become rare in this region. "Since these areas do not have other types of trees, people clear the bushes for charcoal," say sources at the district forest office in Jhapa. The traders export huge quantities of charcoal made of rhododendron plant each year.

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