EXPOSITIONAL AND COLLECTION SITES OF LABORATORY FOR ARBOREAL PLANT INTRODUCTION
The expositional and collective sites of the Laboratory for Introduction
of Arboreal plants occupy significant areas in various parts of the Botanical
Garden-Institute, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences. The arboretum
currently under construction is located in a forest (area 36 ha), but regrettably
sill has no railroad network and therefore cannot be surveyed.
When you enter the Botanical Garden main gate, you would instantly find yourself amidst a plant kingdom, immediately followed by an arboreal collection.
To the left, at the Garden fence, you would see a group of Korean cedar, Weymouth pine and spiny fur, a decorative form with blue coniferous needles (the native country of the pine and fur is North America). You would distinguish the dense dark-green oval of the cuspidate yew against the background of a well-proportioned Lydia poplar (a hybrid of the white and Bolle poplar species obtained by N. A. Konovalov in Ekaterinburg). The rocky boulders lying near the yew on the grass are covered with lianas of tricuspidate virgin grape.
The road turns to the left, and to the right at the road you see common horse chestnut (originally from the Balkan Peninsula), magnificent during flowering (late May – early June). This exclusively decorative plant is also valued for its remedial properties. To the left of the road, you would see a nut-tree grove with the Manchurian nut and the Manchurian and heterophyllous filberts. A little further as you move on, you would see the heart-shaped nut-tree (native of Japan). Its fruits (nuts) are cordiform, and the kernels readily extractable.
If you follow a slabbed lane branching from the main road, you can view a lilac collection represented by the common white-form lilac, the Persian lilac, and the broad-leaved lilac, var.: «Miss Canada», «Esther Stailey», «Dream», «Violetta», «Bogdan Khmelnitsky» etc. Also planted here are representatives of the genus catalpa occurring in North America, China and Japan. Catalpa leaves are very large (up to 25 cm long) and remind you of elephant ears. The purple-leaf catalpa has large racemes of white flowers with bright brown-red specks and two yellow stripes. The flowers of the egg-shaped catalpa are smaller, yellowish with orange stripes and violet specks inside. Alongside and behind catalpas grow barberries, Weigelas (early white and striped varieties, Korean variety, and hybrid variety), and of conifers—junipers (Fitcher’s and Sergeant’s Chinese forms), and the Western Thuja and its forms. The slabbed lane with the graded lilac collection ends at the catalpa tree and common purple smoke tree shrub. The smoke tree is called the whig tree for its fluffy tassels of rosy-purple hairs that surround the bound fruits with a cloud. Alongside the lane is a large cluster of gentle pectinate tamarisk.
If you move along the road towards the two-story building of the future museum, you will find yourself in an exposition of decorative forms of beautifully blossoming and rare plants. Collections of magnolias, rhododendrons, and high-quality large-flower clematises are also located here.
Decorative forms are represented by large-flower garden forms of two hortensia species paniculate and ligneous), black elder (variegated- and yellow-leaf forms), common juniper (tapered form), western Thuja (columnar form), etc.Here you can also familiarize yourself with the following rhododendron collection: Japanese rhododendron (common form and with yellow flowers), Canadian rhododendron (common form and with white flowers), rhododendron (sticky form with white and rosy flowers), blunt rhododendron with gently-rosy, purple-rosy and purple-violet flowers. Dwarf rhododendron forms are highly interesting. Of this group, represented here is the Pukhan rhododendron. The small-flowered rhododendron is decorative even in wintertime.
The bilobate ginkgo tree and the metasequoia are highly rare tree species. Ginkgo biloba is the sole representative of the ginkgo family, one of the most ancient ligneous plants still existing in living form on earth, and for that reason called a living fossil. It is decorative due to its unique fan-like, yellowish-green leaves, and is valued as a medicinal plant.
Outwardly, the split-coniferous metasequoia is reminiscent of the larchwood, but, unlike the latter, before arrival of winter the metasequoia not only loses its coniferous needles, but branches as well. This relict plant has an unusual history. The split-coniferous metasequoia was described by fossil samples. Before 1943, botanists believed that this species, like also the entire genus to which it belongs, had become extinct long ago. In 1943, Chinese botanists established the presence of metasequoia in China in natural habitats.
A most ancient genus is the oleaster (Elaeagnus). The multiflorous oleaster originates from Central China, from where it landed in Japan, and then to the south of Sakhalin Island. In Japan, it is known as gumi. For Primorye, it is a very rare plant with rather low winter-hardiness, though highly valuable. Gumi fruits are very tasty and beneficial, possessing as they do a rich set of vitamins and other biologically active substances.
At the end of the left lane, you see a flowerbed with Daurian juniper, and in the corner behind it a Manchurian nut tree with grafted walnut. The graft spot is clearly visible.
The pergolas bordering the site from forest side are picturesquely wound with Telman honeysuckle lianas. A most beautiful liana, when blooming (July) it is covered with crowns of bright orange flowers. Arranged in the same corner are the Japanese quince with its bright red flowers, a big cluster of the common high-bush cranberry, var. “Snowball”, and the common rose tree, which originates from China and Japan. When it blossoms, it is covered with white opaque “wax” flowers.
Rhododendrons are arranged all over the place, and include over twenty species and forms, viz. the golden, Kamchatka, Canadian (two forms), yellow, largest, blunt (three forms), Pukhan, rosy, Schlieppenbach, Vaseya, etc. The first to start blooming (in early April) is the Sikhote rhododendron, and blooming of various species subsequently continues through May and June. Mass blossoming of most rhododendrons occurs in May, and at that time the exposition looks like a complete blooming carpet. The last to bloom in July is the small-flower rhododendron. The origins of this evergreen rhododendron are in China. Of other evergreen rhododendrons, the Ketevba and Smirnov rhododendrons primarily attract attention by their exclusive decoration.
A collection of high-quality large-flower clematises is arranged on low supports all over the exposition. It includes thirty-eight varieties, viz.«Mephistopheles», «Space Melody», «Negress», «Flower Ball», «Luther Burbank», «President», «Madam Van Hott», «Purpurea Plena Elegansðåà», «Zoya Komodemianskaya», «Phenomenon» etc. In Primorye, cllematises start to blossom in June to continue through September, particularly luxurious blossoming being observed in July.
Yet, the collection of magnolias should still be regarded the most exotic exhibit. Magnolias, representatives of the most ancient flora on Earth, belong to the most ancient flower plants. After the glacial period, magnolias’ natural range decreased to localize in East Asia and the Himalayas, and in North and Central America. These plants are characterized by high decorative properties of their flowers and leaves, and by singularity of fruits to make them highly popular in the horticulture of many countries as one of the most beautiful ligneous plants on Earth.
The magnolia collection in this Botanical Garden is one of the largest in Russia in taxonomic diversity. The Garden cultivates six species, two hybrids and two forms of magnolia, the acuminate magnolia, magnolia cobus, var. Borealis, Sieboltz magnolia, Soulange magnolia and its forms, lily-color magnolia, etc. Apart from Vladivostok, magnolias are cultivated elsewhere in Russia only in Kaliningrad (two species), St. Petersburg (one species), and Sochi (six species). Large collections of magnolia belonging to botanical gardens of the former Soviet Union have remained outside Russia: fifteen species in Batumi (Georgia), nine species in
Tbilisi (Georgia), six species in Sukhumi (Abkhazia), four species in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), nine species and forms in the western regions of Ukraine, three species in Dushanbe (Turkmenistan), three species in Bishkek (Kirghizia), and twenty-five taxa (twelve species, three hybrids and ten forms) in Kiev (Ukraine).
Magnolias start to blossom in early May. The plants are still leafless when they are covered with white, highly unique flowers to make them look particularly decorative. The first to blossom is magnolia cobus from Japan, superceded at the end of May-early June by Soulange magnolia, a hybrid species. Its cup-shaped flowers grow to 15 cm in diameter, the bright-rosy petals outside and the white petals inside. The Siebold magnolia blossoms from mid June for one month, given that by that time its leaves had fully formed. Against their background, the white flowers with carmine stamens appear highly decorative. Every flower survives for ten days only.
form of early Weigela with striped flowers, hybrid mutable Weigela and
cherry with white shaggy flowers are planted on the boundary of the
magnolia collection with the lilac plot.
On the other side of the future museum, there is a small collection of high-quality lilacs (ten varieties).
To the left of the Botanical Garden laboratory building entrance a plait-like tree sponge liana creeps up the building wall. This is a Far Eastern species that can be used for vertical landscaping. To the right of the entrance grows one specimen of pea-bearing Chamaecyparis (originating from Japan), several specimens of tapered hard juniper, Sergeant’s juniper with scaly greenish-blue pine needles, and Schlieppenbach, Sikhote, and cuspidate rhododendrons. Forsition clusters are planted closer to the building wall.
A group of Korean cedar trees are arranged to the right of the Botanical Garden main entrance next to the guardrail, and a little further hard juniper (coastal form) and fluffy sumac with cleft leaves. Three magnolia species (cobus, Soulange and acicular) grow behind a group of common pine trees, and alongside the Amur maackia, close relative of the white acacia and seven pea-bearing Chamaecyparis plants. The transformer booth is decorated with round-leaf sponge lianas, a Far Eastern species that grows to more than 15 m long. A cluster of shaggy three-lobed almond grows alongside, and behind it a common horse chestnut tree.
A Komarov maple tree, a rare Red Book species, grows behind the transformer booth to the right of the road. A little further, grouped in one grove are the Sergeant (Sakhalin) cherry, the Maximovicz hawthorn, the heart-leafed hornbeam, and the Regel tripteregium, and deep in the plantings—the iron birch, a relict species with very tough timber. Is registered in the Red Book. The Manchurian apricot, the all-leaf pine and the Himalayan lilac. grow at the road fork on a triangular flowerbed. A cross-paired microbiota, a highly rare Red Book plant, is planted on a hill against the background of a grass plot to the left of the flowerbed. Planted beyond the hill is a white acacia tree, an endemic of North America. A grove of Schlieppenbach rhododendron trees grows on the low section of the grass plot, behind them an unsorted plantation of Korean fur, and closer to the road the seven-lobe Calopanax.
To the left of the administrative building is an exposition of conifers consisting of Western Thuja and Daurian, hard and Sergeant junipers, the Eastern flat-branched tree, the thorny spruce, and the cuspidate yew. Sergeant cherry trees, covered with rosy flowers in early spring, are arranged in the middle of the plot.
Further on, you can pass to the Garden forest area, either by taking an ecological path or descending to the road leading to the Horticulture Department. To the left, alongside the guardrail, you would see plantings of select a. colomicta and a. cuspidata, both distinguished by high ascorbic acid content, rich crop and berry size. The Schizandra chinensis grows here as well, and the Chinese wisteria has become acclimated in the greenhouse of the Laboratory for Russian Far Eastern flora.
I. PETUKHOVA, Cand. Sci. (Biology), Head, Laboratory for Introduction of Ligneous Plants, Botanical Garden-Institute, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
L. PSHENNIKOVA, Senior
Research Fellow, Cand. Sci. (Biology), Laboratory for Introduction of Ligneous
Plants, Botanical Garden-Institute, Far East Branch,
Russian Academy of Sciences.