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The cold deserts of North-West Himalaya are characterized by an extremely low temperature and less precipitation. These areas are under increasing pressure of the recent rapidly expanding tourism industry and also are one of the least protected regions of India, as only about four per cent of these are covered under national network of protected areas. Even then no baseline information on the flora of these protected areas, so vital for formulating strategies for management of their resources, is as yet available.
The survey and inventorying of plant wealth of the Pin Valley National Park in Lahaul-Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh was taken up to bridge this gap. This study is an outcome of extensive and intensive survey and collection of plants in the Pin Valley National Park during 2001 to 2003. The 'Flora' includes taxonomic descriptions of 513 taxa belonging to 243 genera under 64 families of Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms with identification keys, wherever necessary, with a note on phenology, habitat, exsiccate, distribution and uses, and is supported by 31 line drawings and 155 colour photographs. Out of 513 taxa recorded from the Park 505 taxa are Angiosperms, 3 Gymnosperms and Five Pteridophytes.