When it comes to the Himalayas, people usually think of the towering height of mount Everest, the harsh natural environment with thin air and freezing weather, and the mysterious snowman. In the imagination of many people, the himalaya mountains are restricted to the distribution of most higher plants and animals, but in fact, the himalaya mountains are a world full of vitality, and the plants of the himalaya mountains are living and reproducing in the plateau with their unique skills.

In the Himalayan mountains above 4,000 meters on the rocky beach, the growth of many strange forms of plants, botanists by the attention. Among them, the most eye-catching is the pagoda yellow, which, together with snow lotus and rhodiola, becomes the “three auspicious treasures” of the qinghai-tibet plateau. Of course, tahuang tells us that life can create miracles with his beautiful and strong life, and even his flamboyant life.

Life only bloom once, after the end of their own life

Tartrum, although it has a life span of about seven years, it only blooms once in its life, and then takes its own life.

Like bamboo, this plant is a single-time solid perennial herb. Its life is neither long nor short. In its 5-7 year life cycle, 80% of the time, it is as simple as a cabbage, crawling on the rocky beach, absorbing sunshine and rain, and fighting against wind and cold.

When it was young, it could only grow on its stomach, spreading its big round leaves flat on the ground to avoid the cold wind. Before the snow comes, the leaves on the ground can only die, but there are thick taproot buried in the ground, fleshy taproot leaves for half a year to make all the nutrients stored up, in winter dormancy.

Year after year, the growing and resting periods alternate. When the taproom accumulates nutrients to a certain extent, the taproom enters adulthood, its last year of life.

From the cabbage leaf rosette like base, slowly out of a “prime jade”, this is 1.5-2 meters high “jade”, is a giant yellow inflorescence, the inflorescence gradually tapered from the bottom up, in the outside of the inflorescence, covered like a large translucent tile-yellow bract.

The bracts are translucent, with each heart-shaped bract overhanging downward, the center of the bracts bulging, and the edges of the bracts fitting tightly to the bracts below, so that one covers the other, the top covers the bottom, and the color changes from emerald green to golden yellow.

At this time, the pagoda yellow suddenly changed, became the Himalayan high mountain area “stature” the highest herb, looked from afar, like a resplish golden pagoda, particularly striking, perhaps “pagoda yellow” a name from this.

In fact, in the eyes of the xueling valley nature lab, it is more like a slim girl, who goes to an important ball to elaborate dress train. It was as if the whole world swirled beneath her skirt.

The bracts are like a mother’s uterus, relying on the bracts to survive in the highlands

In the early 1980s, when Japanese botanist Ohba saw tartar in the Himalayas, he wondered: was the bract so much to help tartar increase light cooperation? Later, botanists dissected the bracts and found that they contained no chloroplasts and thus no photosynthesis.

So why does taraxanthin need so much nutrition to develop such spectacular bract for slow-growing alpine plants? It turns out that taraxons have been deliberate in their efforts to make themselves so unique: the bracts that taraxons use so many resources to carefully develop are actually well-meaning, because they effectively ensure that plants bloom and bloom successfully in the harsh alpine environment.

All over the body these covered with translucent tile bracts, is actually a small greenhouse. Absorb the warmth of the sun, absorb the beauty of the moon. When sunlight shines during the day, the bracts block the intense ultraviolet radiation, allowing internal temperatures to rise in the light. At night, the outside temperature plummets, because there are bracts wrapped around, heat will not easily escape, so the internal temperature will be significantly higher than the outside. This speeds up the process of fertilisation, which helps plants to reproduce quickly in as little as four months of their growing season.

The bracts are rich in flavonoids, which absorb and reflect ultraviolet radiation so effectively that only 10 percent of the uv radiation that passes through the bracts reaches the inner flower organs. It can be seen that the bracts of tahuang are effective protection against ultraviolet radiation.

Moreover, because of bracts that can cover the whole organ of the flower, their flowers are not afraid of the wind and rain. And for pollinators, tartrazine bracts act as giant reflectors that are easily noticed by pollinators.

Such like this, the floret in bract and immature fruit, be in the snow area highland with harsh living condition, still can feel at ease do the flower in “greenhouse”.


As for tahuang, in his last year of life, why did he grow so big? Xue ling valley natural laboratory believes that this is the seed that ta huang hopes to mature and go further after hitching a ride on the high mountain wind.