The Flora of Armenia
The flora of Armenia is unique and diverse. Although the territory of Armenia is small, its’ flora is distinguished with richness and variety. Armenian Geographic talked about this topic with Merine Sargsyan a candidate of Biological Sciences and senior researcher in Institute of Botany after A.L. Takhtajyan.
“In each 1000 km2 area of Armenia approximately 107 plant species grow. Regularly many new species appear in Armenia. These species are new not only in Armenia but in science in general. In this country you can find almost all the species of the region”,-says Merine Sargsyan.
We asked Merine Sargsyan to speak about several plant categories which are common in Armenia.
There are approximately 126 endemic plants in Armenia. Moreover, there are plants which grow only in one area. Among them are Armenian rowan (Sorbus hajastana), Hawthorn of Susanklein (Crataegus susanykleinae), Salsola of Tamamshyan (Salsola tamamschanjae), and so on.
10 percent of species of flora in Armenia are herbs. In folk medicine they have always been using Rhamnus (Rhamnus), Hawthorn (Crataegus), Juniper (Juniperus), Eglantine (Rosa), and so on. Unfortunately every year these plants are used more and more, so there comes a need to think about the reduction of their quantity. 122 species of macro fungus also have pharmacological properties.
There are also many poisonous plants in Armenia. Those plants produce toxic substances which are accumulated not only on all the parts of the plant but also in their separate organs (for example in stones of apricot, almond, cherry and so on).
Animals don’t eat those plants, but unfortunately many people get poisoned of those plants. Usually locals recognize poisonous plants and know the ways to use them. Poisonous plants may have effects on nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems of living organisms.
Digitalis, aconite, henbane, hemlock and others are poisonous plants growing in Armenia. Having specific substances many poisonous plants are being used as herbs.
Plants in danger of extinction
452 species of vascular plants of flora of Armenia are included in the second volume of Red book of Armenia. It is 12 percent of flora. They have a need for maintenance.
Iris lineolate (Iris lineolate), Iris iberica (Iris elegantissima), Crataegus pontica (Crataegus pontica), Anemone ranunculoides are among those plants which are included in Red book of Armenia.
Edible plants are the part of rich flora of Armenia. From Ancient times Armenian people used wild plants in cooking and passed those cooking techniques to the next generations. There are 290 species of edible mushrooms in Armenia and there are 300 edible herbs which are used both fresh and cooked. People used to cook sickleweed, asparagus, foxtail lilies, astrodaucus and so on.
Flora of Armenia is also rich with fruits and berries. Among them more valuable ones are walnut, apple tree, dogwood, blackberry, ribes and many other species.
Today the production of herbal teas is growing in Armenia. They pick thyme, mentha, ziziphora, oregano and other plants for teas.
Now days it has become very trendy to use plants especially in tea industry. However, people should be careful as overusing the resources of nature may result that plants will appear in danger of extinction.
The copyright of this article is owned by armgeo.am. The content of the article may be cited or used on other websites only with an active link to the source.