ORNAMENTAL PLANTS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITATS
The natural landscape of Uzbekistan varies greatly, from the hot
sand and gypsum deserts of the Kyzylkum, to the permanent glaciers
of the Pamiro Alay. From the capital of Tashkent, the Kuraminskiy
and Chatkalskiy ranges, both of the Tien Shan system, can be reached
within one day’ journey. The road first runs along the Chirchik river
valley, where cotton, maize, rice, melons and other crops are grown.
Plants along the spurs of Chatkalskiy Range that flower in April include
a diminutive iris, Iridodictyum kolpakowskianum [=Iris
kolpakowskiana], the brown-flowered
Korolkowia severzowii as well as the tuberous yellow-flowered
Gymnospermium alberti [=Leontice alberti] as well as the brownish blooms
Eminium lehmannii. Several tulips such as Tulipa bifloriformis, T.
greigii, T. kaufmanniana, T. tschimganica and
T. vvedenskyii contribute to the beauty of the landscape. Many
dramatic desert candles from Eremurus lactiflorus, E. regelii,
E. robustus and E. sogdianus flower in late spring into early
summer. Monocots include also Iris korolkowii and Polygonatum
sewerzowii, both unknown in cultivation but well worth attention. Tall
grasses and shrubs as well as an abundance of Tamarix, Rosa, Ferula
and Prangos, all grow in this area. Salvia sclarea, Roemeria
refracta and Pseudosedum longidentatum are also among attractively
interesting plants there.
Forest, subalpine and alpine vegetation can be seen also in Central
Asian nature reserves such as the Aksu-Dzabagly (Kazakstan), Hissarskiy
(Tadjikistan), Zaamin-Guralash (Uzbekistan) and Almaatinskiy (Kazakstan).
The first is located on the Aksu river in the Chimkent Region, whereas the
Almaatinskiy reserve is very close to Almaty, and can be reached within
one day. Forests also occur in the Sary Chelek reserve of the Namangan
Region (Uzbekistan) and in the Chatkalskiy reserve of the Tashkent Region
(Uzbekistan). However, shrub thickets dominate the Issyk Kul’ reserve
(Kyrgyzstan). The "Tiger Ravine" reserve in the Pyanczh Region (Tajikistan)
includes forests, meadows and deserts and also special forest and scrub
complex at the bottom of river valleys, "tugai," in Russian. The Badkhyz
and Repetek reserves (Turkmenistan) include semideserts interspersed with
Pistacia woodlands and more typical desert vegetation. Badkhyz is
actually the southernmost point in the FSU.