Pink inspiration: how Rhododendron makes The Altai Mountains even more beautiful
20 мая 2019 года

Pink inspiration: how Rhododendron makes The Altai Mountains even more beautiful

Every spring The Altai Mountains get pink & purple colours thanks for shrubs strewn with blooming rhododendron. Translated from the Greek, the name of the plant means ‘a pink tree’. But it’s not about just beauty, but benefit as well. Rhododendron has medicinal qualities, water regulating and soil-protecting capacity.

There are two 2 types of rhododendron in Altai Nature Reserve: 

1. Rhododendron ledebourii Pojark 
2. Rhododendron aureum Georgi

The second one is hard to find – you’ll be lucky to see it only at the Priteletsky district in the mountain areas of taiga and 1650-2050 m above sea level. The opposite Rhododendron ledebourii Pojark – it’s almost everywhere till an altitude of 2150 m.

When can you enjoy the pink beauty of rhododendron? Depends on the weather, but usually flowers start to blossom in the end of April and the beginning of May. 

Rhododendron is an ancient genus that first appeared approximately 50 million years ago (in Europe fossil finds related to the tertiary period were discovered). In the remote past, plenty of rhododendrons occupied more significant areas comparing now. Unfortunately, during the ice age area of species had dramatically changed.

Nowadays rhododendron has more than 1 200 wild species and 8 thousand varieties. Most of them grow in the Northern Hemisphere. These plants may be met till a height of 5 400 m above sea level.

Miroslava Sahnevich,
research officer at Altai Nature Reserve

Photo by Miroslava Sakhnevich

English translation by Anastasia Chernykh


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