Flora Himalaya Database

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From FLORHIMAL to Flora Himalaya Database


FLORHIMAL is a database concerning the flora of the Himalayas. It was first started in the 70s with the higher plants of Nepal and then extended in the 80s to the whole chain, from Eastern Afghanistan to Northern Myanmar, covering 2 000 000 km2. Untill the year 2000, it was only locally accessible at the Université de Grenoble (France). Since 2002, it is online on the Web site of the Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine (former Laboratoire Dynamique des Ecosystèmes d'Altitude) of the Université de Savoie (France) as Flora Himalaya Database.


The database contents the names of more than 12 500 flowering plants from the Himalayas (species, subspecies, variety) with data on :

Theses data are now illustrated with dynamic maps and graphics generated for each species with SVG format.

Sources of data

The data regarding distribution and origin were compiled according to the extensive field collections made by many botanists since the early 19th century which are housed in the main herbariums of the world, mainly the Natural History Museum of London, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and Edinburgh (UK), the Tokyo University Museum (Japan), the Herbarium of the Department of Plant Resources of Kathmandu (Nepal) and according to the main Floras and books listed below. In addition, 40 years of Pr Dobremez's field work in the Himalayas have provided many data concerning the habitats and the distribution.


The accepted taxonomy is the one published in the most recent floras :

A., 1982 and cont. Flora xichangica. Science Press, Beijing, 6 vol. (in chinese).
A., 1970 and cont. Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden and University of Karachi, 203 vol.
Dobremez J.F., 1976. Le Népal, écologie et biogéographie. CNRS Ed., Paris, 363 p.
Grierson A.J.C. & Long D.G., 1983 and cont. Flora of Bhutan. Roy. Bot. Garden Edinburgh, 6 vol.
Hara H., Stearn W.T., Williams L.H.J. & Chater A.O., 1978-1979-1982. Enumeration of flowering plants of Nepal. Trustees of British Museum (Nat. Hist.), London, 3 vol.
Hooker J.D., 1872 and cont. Flora of India. Reprinted in 1973 by B. S. M. P. Singh in Dehra Dun, 7 vol.
Rechinger K.H., 1973 and cont. Flora Iranica. Naturhist. Museum, Graz, 162 vol.
Takhtajan A., 1978. Floristic regions of the world. Soviet sciences Press, Moscow, 522 p. (in russian).
Hara H. & Hohashi H., 1966, 1971, 1974. The Flora of Eastern Himalaya. The University of Tokyo Press, 3 vol.


This work was initiated in the late 60s by Pr Jean-François Dobremez. In the early 70s, Dr Puspa Ratna Shakya worked out the flora of Eastern Nepal. Afterwards, Pr JF. Dobremez extended the work to the whole Himalayas as the results of extensive botanical expeditions were published in Europe and Asia. In the middle 90s, Dr P.R. Shakya worked out the habitats of nepalese flora. From the beginning, Françoise Vigny was in charge to keyboard the data under TEXTO software at the Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble I). In 2001, at the Université de Savoie and on Pr JF. Dobremez initiative, Dr Sylvaine Camaret transformed the existing database in an online one and built the Web site in partnership with Richard Eynard-Machet.

The use of the Flora Himalaya Database is free for academic research and studies but mention the orignal source as indicated below.

Mention as bibliographic reference and/or citation as : Dobremez JF., Shakya PR., Camaret S., Vigny F. and Eynard-Machet R., 1967-2009 - Flora Himalaya Database, Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine, http://www.leca.univ-savoie.fr/db/florhy/

Tribute to Pr Jean-François Dobremez

Pr JF. Dobremez left us suddenly in March, 2009, with numerous projects underway concerning the Himalaya and other mountain ranges in which he so deeply loved to spend time. He vastly expanded our knowledge of our planet's rich and varied mountain environments, contributing to their conservation as well as focussing on the necessity to harmoniously reconcile the interests of nature and of mankind. In addition to his contributions to science, we will especially remember this great defender of ecology for his penetrating regard, his ability to listen attentively, his deeply human qualities and, of course - he would not have wanted us to forget, his magnificent mustache. We feel privileged to have known him and to have worked with him.

SVG format

The maps and graphics are generated using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), an exciting XML graphics for Web standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Currently, the display of SVG contents depends to your Web browser :

  • MS Internet Explorer 5.x or higher : you need to install the latest full release version of the Adobe SVG Viewer only if Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.x or higher is not already installed because the plugin is included in this last, ensuring so that every computer with Adobe Acrobat Reader will be able to view SVG contents.
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.x or higher : you need to install the Adobe SVG Viewer Pre-Release version and, after, to do this little manipulation :
    • go to the Adobe SVG Viewer Pre-Release version setup folder that is to say :
      • C:\Program Files\Common files\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\ for english MS Windows version
      • C:\Program Files\Fichiers communs\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\ for french MS Windows version
      • C:\Program Files\[fited other language name of "Common files" folder]\Adobe\SVG Viewer 6.0\Plugins\ for other language MS Windows version
    • copy the two following files : NPSVG6.dll and NPSVG6.zip
    • paste them in the plugins folder of your Mozilla Firefox setup folder, by default C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins (normaly, it's the same way in all languages of MS Windows)
    • restart your Mozilla Firefox browser and enjoy the SVG graphics !

NB : as the Adobe SVG Viewer Pre-Release uses for Mozilla Firefox browser is a "forever beta version" (its development was unfortunately stopped when Adobe bought Macromedia) and all functionalities (especially layers ones) of Flora Himalaya Database SVG graphics (and the ones of others SVG Web site) may not be available with the Mozilla Firefox plugin compared with the MS Internet Explorer one.

  • Netscape Navigator 6.x or higher : unfortunately, althougnt the Adove SVG Viewer could be successfully installed, it doesn't work.
This site is SVG powered

Functions of the SVG Viewer
  • To get a context menu : use the right bouton of the mouse
  • To zoom : use the CTRL-Key and click
  • To zoom in a rectangle : use the CTRL-Key and drag a rectangle
  • To zoom out : use the CTRL-Key and Shift-Key and click
  • To move the map : use the ALT-Key

Flora Himalaya data

Species origin
  • CAS : Centrasiatic
  • EHI : Himalayan endemic
  • HOL : Holarctic kingdom
  • IND : Indian
  • MAL : South east asiatic malaysian
  • SIJ : Sino-japanese or eastern asiatic
  • TRO : Tropical kingdom
  • TUR : Irano-turanian or west mediterranean
  • YUN : South east chinese

Select graph layers :

     Origin name
     Limit between holarctic and tropical kingdoms

Species distribution
  • AFG : North-Eastern Afghanistan
  • ASS : North-Eastern India
  • BUR : Northern Union of Myanmar
  • BUT : Bhutan
  • CHA : High tibetan plateau or Chantang
  • KAS : Kashmir
  • KUM : North-Western India
  • NEC : Central Nepal
  • NEE : Eastern Nepal
  • NEW : Western Nepal
  • PAK : Northern Pakistan
  • SIK : Sikkim
  • TIB : Southern Tibet
  • TIE : Eastern Tibet
  • YAR : Yarlung Tsangpo valley

   Select map layers :   

     Regions name
     Regions color
     Regions limit


Altitude levels

   Select graph layers : 

   Levels name
   Sublevels name
   Altitude (m)

Species habitats

Only for Nepal, 50 habitats have been distinguished : go here for detailed explanation.

Links on regional flora


Go to the database

Query the database | Flora Himalaya project | SVG format | Flora Himalaya data | Links | Acknowledgments | Contact
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