Prunus x cistenais an oval shapedtree with purple foliage which is actually a large shrub and it is grown in full to part sun. Prunus x cistena, the Purple leaf sand cherry is a cross between Prunus pumila and Prunus cerasifera ’Atropurpurea’. The tree makes the garden or the place extremely exotic and beautiful for its purple spattering impact. Prunus x cistena also produces small candied fruits that attract many birds on it. Prunus x cistena is also grown in many nurseries for its drought resistant nature. The leaves of this phenomenal tree are reddish-purple, 2″ long, and elliptical in shape. In fall, they will turn a bronze-green. The flowers of Prunus x cistena are pink or white, and appear in April.
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry – Prunus x cistena ( Image: Mike Mylenbusch )
Although Prunus x cistena the Purple leaf sand cherry can bear the harsh climatic conditions yet it need some care and pruning after the blooming of flowers in the Spring season. The good cultivators prefer the well drained soil to grow Prunus x cistena.
Acer palmatum‘Atropurpureum‘ is a lovely maple tree of South East Asia which is famous for its alluring leaf shapes and colors. Acer palmatum is actually a small shrub which may have many trunks joining close to the ground and it can obtain an average height of 20 to 30 ft. The mature plant is usually having a dome type shape with the leaves of 4–12 cm in length and width. Acer palmatum also produces the flowers in small cymes and the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals.
Acer palmatum – The Japanese Maple Tree ( Image: Patrick Nicolas )
Acer palmatum is not only cultivated in Japan but in other regions of the lovely planet having the temperate weather conditions. Acer palmatum the lovely Japanese maple treeis particularly suitable for borders and ornamental paths because the root systems are compact and not invasive.
Bee Orchid is an exotic European flower which looks like an adorable resting place of a female bee. Bee Orchid is botanically known as Ophrys apifera which can grow up to 20 inches. Bee Orchid is commonly found in the Eastern Europe and in some parts of the rest of Europe. The petals of Bee Orchid not only resemble like the female bee but they also emit the enticing hornet smell. Bee Orchid is considered as natural hybrids and they draw massive attraction for the male bees being bewitched for mating and the result is enormous pollination.
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) - Image: Dave on flickr
The colors of the Bee Orchid flowers vary from white to pink. Temperate climatic conditions are ideal for the growth of Bee Orchid. Fungi are considered the strong ally of the Bee Orchids as their seeds wait for the supply of nutrients provided by fungi.
Bee Orchid or Ophrys apifera have obtained protected status in many countries being a rare plant. They are unusual in that in some years they appear in great numbers, and then sometimes only reappear after an absence of many years.
The second highest plateau of the world is spread over an area of 1200 Sq Mi. and it is located in the Astore district of the Gilgit Baltistan province of Pakistan. The territory is known as Deosai National Park, the land of giants which remains a snow-bound bailiwick in the chilling winters. The trailblazers love to explore the heavenly and astounding plains of Deosai in summer when they are accessible. The land of giants comes across the western massif of the great Himalayas and the middlemost of the inordinate Karakoram.
Deosai National Park: An image by Zahoor Ahmed
Deosai plains are designated in 1993 as a protected area and it is a treeless reservation which is named as Deosai National Park. The baffling wilderness of Deosai is home of the Himalayan brown bear which is the largest omnivore of Pakistan. The number of the Himalayan brown bear is critically decreased due to the illegal hunting and poaching. They love to eat grasses, roots and other plants as well as insects and small mammals but sometimes they can also prey cattle.
Himalayan brown bear of Deosai - Image courtesy : Zahoor Ahmed
Deoasi plains are also famous as the natural habitat of spectacular Himalayan marmot that lives in form of colonies and has a unique chocolate-brown coat with contrasting yellow patches on its face and chest. Overall the fauna of Deosai National Park consists of more than 150 wild species and migratory birds. The most noteworthy of them are Snow-leopard, Golden Eagle, Himalayan Ibex, Gray wolf and Lammergeier.
A cute Himalayan marmot of Deosai - Girish Nair Photography
Deosai plains are home of the fantastic plants that have amazing quality to bear the severity of the freezing weather. Every year in the start of June, the Deosai plains are embellished with countless natural flowers that spread their intoxicated aroma in the whole atmosphere. This is impossible to elaborate the wonderful variety of the flora of Deosai which comprises hundreds of alpine plants. The lush green meadows of Deosai present an ultimate scenic view, when the flowers are in full bloom in spring.
The fantastic view of the flowers in Deosai Plains - A Nadeem Khawar's Photo
One of the marvelous features of Deosai plains is the dazzling Sheosar Lake which means “Blind Lake” and it is located in the Deosai national park. Sheosar lake is considered as one of the highest elevated lakes in the world having a length of 2.3 kilometers and a width of 1.8 kilometers along with an average depth of about 40 meters (130 ft).
The alluring Sheosar Lake of Deosai National Park - A Sarfraz Hayat's photo
Deosai National Park, the land of giants and Deosai National Park can be accessed via two routes. One is through Skardu City and the second through Astore District.The road from Astore starts from Chilum, continues through the plains and is asphalt road till the main lake before climbing to Deosai. The route from Skardu is via an unpaved road which can be hiked in two days. By jeep it is only a matter of hours.