SEA BUCKTHORN (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy/Environment)

News-CRUX-10     20th November 2023        
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Context: Recently, the Government of India officially granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to 'Ladakh Sea Buckthorn,' following the recognition of GI tags for Apricot (Raktsey Karpo), Pashmina, and Ladakhi Wood Carving in the region.

Other Geographical Indication (GI) Tags from Ladakh

  • Pashmina,
  • Apricot (Raktse Carpo species) and
  • Ladakhi wood carvings.

Sea Buckthorn

  • About: Hippophaeis the genus of sea buckthorns, deciduous shrubs in the family Elaeagnaceae.
  • Globally Distribution: Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a plant widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia.
  • India: Himalayan region, specifically in dry areas like the cold deserts of Ladakh and Spiti.
  • Characteristics: The plant produces small orange or yellow berries that are sour in taste but are particularly rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C.

oSea buckthorn can endure extreme temperatures ranging from minus 43 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius, showcasing its resilience to harsh conditions, making it an ideal plant for cold deserts.

  • Uses: Leaves of sea buckthorn provide protein-rich fodder for animals like sheep, goats, donkeys, cattle, and double-humped camels in cold desert regions.
  • The berries of sea buckthorn serve as a crucial food source for various bird species, especially in times when alternative food sources are scarce.
  • Due to its versatile applications and ecological significance, sea buckthorn is popularly known as the 'Wonder Plant,' 'Ladakh Gold,' 'Golden Bush,' or 'Gold Mine' of cold deserts.
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