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Asian Globeflower

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia – A Snapshot

Our ‘A Snapshot’ series of posts offers a glimpse into the daily life, culture, and the natural beauty of Mongolia. In this post, we turn our attention to the wild flowers of Mongolia. Marian Herz, a guest of Eternal Landscapes who has journeyed with us on two occasions, shares her passion for birdlife and wildflowers through her lens. Below are some stunning images of Mongolia’s wild flowers, captured by Marian during her travels with us.

Mongolians traditionally categorise their vast country into three main types of landscapes: the Gobi (desert), Tal (steppe), and Khangai (mountain). However, the nation’s botanical diversity extends far beyond these classifications and is intricately shaped by the country’s geography. The renowned expert V.I. Grubov divided the country into 16 plant-geographical regions, each characterised by its unique landscape and vegetation composition. These regions reflect the country’s environmental richness and include areas such as Khovsgol, known for its lake and surrounding forests and limestone peaks; Khentii, which boasts lush mountain taiga and grasslands; the central Khangai region with its alpine meadows; Mongolian Dauria, featuring a mix of steppe and forest; the rugged Mongolian Altai mountains; the expansive Great Lakes Depression; and the landscapes of East Gobi and Gobi Altai, among others. This detailed classification underscores the ecological complexity and botanical richness of Mongolia, painting a picture of a land where diverse plant species thrive across a mosaic of habitats.

Great Burnet | (Mongolian Name: Emiin sud uvs)

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia Red Burnet
This versatile flower, blossoming in July, thrives across a range of elevations from the high mountains to the steppe zones. Its habitat is diverse, including marshy and steppe meadows, as well as alongside rivers and stream banks, extending into the glades of larch forests. Both the roots and flowers of this plant are valued for their medicinal properties, traditionally used to treat diarrhoea and to halt bleeding.

Asian or Siberian Globeflower | (Mongolian Name: Aziin Jamiyanmyadag, Shar Udval, Khokhoonii idee)

Asian Globeflower

The Asian Globeflower, a unique species endemic to Asia, blooms from June to July. These striking flowers predominantly thrive in the moist environments of riverbank meadows and within the confines of larch forests, especially noted in regions like Khovsgol, Khentii, Khangai, and the Mongolian Altai. Beyond its visual appeal, the Asian Globeflower has a cultural and medicinal significance in traditional Mongolian medicine where the flowers of this plant are typically harvested and boiled to produce a therapeutic tea traditionally consumed to alleviate symptoms of angina. Moreover, the Asian Globeflower is also utilised in a more topical application. When combined with other medicinal plants, its concoction is applied to open wounds. This practice is believed to accelerate the wound healing process by promoting the quick formation of scabs, further underscoring the Globeflower’s vital role in Mongolian natural healing methodologies.

When Is Best To Visit To Experience The Wild Flowers Of Mongolia

The blooming season for Mongolia’s wildflowers primarily spans from late spring to early autumn, with the peak season varying by region due to the country’s vast and diverse topography.

  • Late Spring (May to June): This is when the steppes and mountain foothills begin to burst into colour. It’s an ideal time to see a variety of species as they start to flourish after the winter thaw.
  • Summer (July to August): The warmest months bring the most abundant blooms, especially in the alpine regions of the Altai, Khangai, and Khentii mountain ranges. pe.
  • Early Autumn (September): While the intense bloom starts to wane, some species continue to flower, especially in the Gobi Desert region, where late-blooming species adapt to the cooler temperatures.

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia - Butterfly on Scabius

Alpine Aster | (Mongolian Name: Tagiin golgeser)

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia - Alpine Aster

These blue to purple flowers, flower between June to September depending on the habitat.  They are found within a broad range of regions in Mongolia including high mountains, forest steppe and meadows, and larch forests. In traditional Mongolian medicine, flowers are used to treat low body temperature.

Common Edelweiss | (Mongolian Name: Egel Tsagaanturuu, Uul ovs)

Close-up of an edelweiss flower, a symbol of wild flowers Mongolia, against a blurred natural background.

In August, the arid meadows and the shaded understories of pine and larch forests in Mongolia are home to edelweiss. This plant, renowned for its stark, alpine beauty, is also steeped in a rich tradition of medicinal use.

Historically, this flower was ingeniously used to make therapeutic footpads, which were then placed inside boots.The footpads made from edelweiss were believed to possess properties that could help in managing and treating low blood pressure, showcasing the practical and health-related applications of the plant.

Colour-changing Pink, Versicolor Pink | (Mongolian Name: Alag bashir)

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia Pink

This vibrant flower is found on the slopes of mountains and hills in the forest-steppe and steppe zones and used in Mongolian traditional medicine for the following: treating pneumonia, typhoid, typhoid fever, and scurvy.

Gentiana Barbed | (Mongolian Name: Sormuust degd, Sakhlai degd)

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia Gentian

There are many species of gentians found worldwide including in Mongolia but this particular flower is found in meadows along river and brook banks and in forest fringes. You can often find it forming a stunning natural carpet, blanketing the area in vibrant colour. It has been used in traditional medicine in treating inflamed wounds and eliminating and treating disorders of bile, and chronic liver disease.

Broadleaf Globe Thistle | (Mongolian Name: Orgon navchit taijiin jins)

Wild Flowers Of Mongolia - Globe Thistle

We love the intense blue of this thistle. These perfectly round flowers, the size of a golf ball, on long graceful stems, rise above silvery green foliage. Found on the mountain slopes in the forest-steppe and steppe zone, one use of this flower in traditional Mongolian medicine is for eliminating edema.

Observing Mongolia’s Wild Flowers

Our guest Marian Herz was not on a specific nature experience. She joined us on two of our Wild Tracks road trips, (Untamed Mongolia, which provides an overview of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Central Heartland, and Khovsgol and our Eastern Landscapes and Eastern Gobi experience). But, because our extended road trip journeys are intentionally designed to offer our guests a slower-paced exploration as well as a deeper understanding of Mongolia’s diverse landscapes, they work well for general nature photography. But, whether you’re on a specific nature tour or a broader exploratory trip, taking time to appreciate Mongolia’s wild flowers can deeply enrich your experience. Please remember though to:

  • Always photograph responsibly without disturbing the natural environment.
  • Stick to trails and minimise your impact on the natural surroundings to help preserve Mongolia’s wildflower habitats for future generations.

There are flower identification books available in Ulaanbaatar – often at Internom, the State Department Store, or at the departures lounge bookshop in the airport. The following links may also be of help:

  • Collection of Mongolian Wild Flowers Photography Facebook Page
  • Illustrated Flora Of Mongolia  –
  • Medicinal Plants In Mongolia WHO –
  • These blog posts on spring and summer flowers in Mongolia by Jenny Sandiford (an expat who lived in Mongolia from 2012 – 2021, although she says she is just an enthusiastic fan, not a flower expert), provide great information.
Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
I'm Jess Brooks, the founder of Eternal Landscapes Mongolia and the voice behind EL's blog posts. For more than a decade, since 2006, I've been based in Mongolia, working closely with my beloved Mongolian team to advocate for a tourism approach that brings about positive change.. What sets our blog apart is our deep understanding of Mongolia—our home. Unlike content from influencers or creators, our posts prioritise authenticity and firsthand knowledge as guiding principles.
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