Introduction into the botanical paradise of Armenia

Two texts of the last week were dedicated to a wonderful country Armenia in the Global Botanical Portal. These photo-messages had big interest from our visitors from a many regions of the World. Today we have a great opportunity to continue publishing the information about plant cover of the country thanks to Dr. Anna Asatryan (Leading researcher at the Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia) who has sent an interesting article with her pictures to us.

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Species rich meadow with up to 100 names in the flora list. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved).

One of botanically most attractive countries of the Northern Hemisphere Armenia is notable for its rich flora and diversity of habitats. This small mountainous country with territory of less than 30,000 sq. km is a home to 3800 vascular plant species 145 of which are narrow endemics. Flora of Armenia forms almost half of the flora of the Caucasus ecoregion, known as one of the World’s biodiversity hotspots. 452 species (almost 12% of the flora) are listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia, 86% of which (389 species) are critically endangered and endangered.

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Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved)

The habitats diversity of the country is also remarkable – here one can see most of the main habitat types, found in the Caucasus and it doesn’t require long driving: it is possible to see semideserts, steppes, arid open forests, subalpine and alpine meadows, forests in just one day.

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Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved)

Complex relief, diversity of soils and climate conditions, geological history and other factors have conditioned such a floristic richness. Armenia’s territory is located on the junction of two sharply different floristic provinces: dry Armeno-Iranian, which belongs to the Ancient Mediterranean floristic subkingdom and temperate – humid Caucasian province of Boreal subkingdom of Holarctis.

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Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved).

This is one of the most ancient areas of origin of cultivated plants and development of agriculture and a place, where donors and progenitors of many cultivated plants represented with great number of forms, have survived till now. Many plant species form an important component of local menu, are used in medicinal purposes, in various areas of industry and other.

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Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved)

Armenia is very attractive for both professional botanists and plant lovers. With right and accurate planning and implementation botanical tours in Armenia not only provide country’s visitors with unforgettable and unique experience, but also support local communities and contribute to biodiversity conservation.  We organize trips on local flora and habitats explorations with focus on subjects of special botanical interest: rare and endemic species, Important Plant Areas, remarkable trees and groves and other. The programs include also ethnobotany in practice. We plan our routes with minimum of driving the same road and making visits off the beaten paths towards areas with pure untouched beauty of nature.

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Anemone fasciculata, typical to the Northern Armenia, its mass blooming may be observed in the beginning of June. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved).

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Rhododendron caucasicum is the only rhododendron species found in Armenia. Here, on the southern-western border of its distribution area it is quite rare and included in the Red Data Book of Armenia. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved)

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Sedum sempervivoides. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved)

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Lilium armenum and Sevan Lake. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved).

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Vavilovia formosa – a rare alpine plant, here it was found on 3400 m above sea level. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved)

For more information please follow the link: http://7springstour.am/?p=123&sub=136

Or contact me (Dr. Anna Asatryan): crocus@post.com

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Dr. Anna Asatryan and Iris elegantissima – one of the most beautiful representatives of Armenian spring flora. Picture by Anna Asatryan (all rights reserved).

 

 

 

 

 

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