There are two species of the lovely Himalayan snow lotus, the Saussurea laniceps on the left, and the seldom collected Saussurea medusa. Both grow in the eastern Himalayas in rocky habitats above 13,000 feet (4000 metres). Researchers found that because the white lotus is heavily harvested, its height has decreased by at least 4 inches (10 cm) over the last century! Tourists pluck it as a souvenir and the flower is also used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicines. Because the largest flowers are picked just before the seeds are produced, it is the smaller specimens that are left to propagate. The pink species on the other hand, has survived unchanged because it is left undisturbed.