NEW ENDEMIC BULBOUS PLANTS OF THE ST. PETERSBURG BOTANICAL GARDEN

Marina V. Baranova
Over 22.000 species of flowering plants are encountered in the flora of the former Soviet Union. Many of them that were brought from the Caucasus, Crimea and Middle Asia are very decorative.

The St. Petersburg Botanical Garden has been engaged in plant introduction since 1714 when it came into being. The Garden has introduced over 3.000 species of native flora not known to be in cultivation. Among them are many decorative bulbous plants such as species Allium, Lilium, Tulipa, Fritillaria, Muscari, Colchicum, Iris and etc. Collection, study and introduction of new species are still continuing.

The rich collection of the Botanical Garden contains more than 600 species, cultivated varieties and forms of bulbous plants in particular. Endemic plants collected in the wild are naturally of the greatest value. Some species have been described only recently and are planted in the Garden for the first time. Given below are brief descriptions of these 13 species (Table). They have been brought from the southern regiouns but we hope they will also thrive in our garden. Spring is the blooming season for most of them and this is when they are of great attraction to interested visitors.

In early spring pink cup-shaped flowers appear on Merendera sobolifera Fisch. et C.A. Mey; their flowering period lasts until the appearance of leaves. When the bloom season is completed, the appearance of leaves start to grow progressively reaching 20–25 cm in lenght. Corms produce 3–4 stolons where new corms begin to develop: The plant reproduces both vegetatively and sexually (seed that were sown in autumn collectively germinate in spring of the following year).

the plants can be found in nature in the Pamir Alai mountains where they grow on subalpine weadows and rockey sites (2400 m above m.s.l.). The plant was first introduced in culture by the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden in 1870.

The genus Scilla comprises about 50 species among which Scilla rosenii C. Koch iis remarkable for the beauty of its flowers; they are large, porcelain-like and light-blue with delicate fragrance and resemble Cyclamen flowers. In a favorable environment one plant of Scilla rosenii develops 4–5 scapes, it annually produces bulblets and abundant seeds. The natural habital of S. rosenii is the mountain meadows of the Caucasus. It is delightful spring-flowering plant which regrettably has not yet come into fashion. It is

Baranova, Marina V. (1992). NEW ENDEMIC BULBOUS PLANTS OF THE ST. PETERSBURG BOTANICAL GARDEN. Acta Hortic. 325, 847-852
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1992.325.125
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1992.325.125

Acta Horticulturae