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THE ORIGIN OF GARDEN PLANTS AND THE FSU CONTRIBUTION

The Caucasian-Western Asiatic Center


The Caucasian-Western Asiatic Center embraces the Caucasus, including Transcaucasus, North and Northeastern Anatolia, and the mountains of Turkmenia. Vavilov called this area "the Anterior Asiatic centre". This Center covers many floristic provinces, among them the Euxine, the Caucasian, (belonging to the Circumboreal Floristic Region) and the Central Anatolian, Armenian-Iranian, Hyrcanian, and partly Turanian (belonging to the Irano-Turanian Floristic Region).

The region has contributed a large group of ornamental plants, or about 150 species. (3%) to world horticulture. Most of the species were taken from the Caucasus. Therefore, this range could be more correctly named "Caucasian." Its native plants in general cultivation today include numerous species of trees and herbs that have become popular in many countries. Pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens), bay willow (Salix pentandra), velvet maple (Acer velutinum) and the Caucasian alder (Alnus subcordata) are used in many countries as shade trees. Some of the most popular herbaceous plants that can be grown in the open are autumn crocus (Colchicum speciosum), crested gentian (Gentiana septemfida), Pyrethrum coccineum (syn. Chrysanthemum), poppy (Papaver orientale) and the pincushion-flower or scabious (Scabiosa caucasica). The Caucasian Center has become increasingly important as a source of ornamental plants, during the twentieth century. Many new species have been found in the mountain regions of the Caucasus, especially in its western part.

THE ORIGIN OF GARDEN PLANTS
 
 
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