The Crimean endemics.

The natural conditions of the Crimea are rather various.

The seaside slopes resemble the landscapes of many countries: Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

The higher plants number more than 2400 species, 240(10%) of them are endemics. There are more than 400 species of vertebrates, i.e. having the spinal column, 20 % of them are endemics. All Crimean endemics are listed in the Red Data Book.

In the biological respect the Crimea is an island. The salty littoral of Sivash is an insuperable obstacle for the most of species. So some neoendemics appeared.

Some of the Crimean endemics are still usual species: folded snowdrop, Crimean edelweiss, Crimean finch, black-necked jay, field vole of Iphigenia, Crimean black fox, Crimean carabus, and Crimean rodent.

There are some very rare plants; e.g. the seaside thyme is found only on the shell sands of the Arabat Spit. Some of the species are extraordinary rare, e.g. the daphne Taurica Kotov.

In the Crimea there are 151 reserved objects including 25 park-reserves.

121 species of the Crimean endemics are listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. Among them there are 66 species of higher plants, 41 species of vertebrates, 15 species of insects.

The most popular Crimean endemics are plants: the snowdrop, the crocus, the Crimean edelweiss, the Crimean peony, the pulsatilla and the Crimean cistus.

The snowdrop is a small, early blossoming, bulbous plant, which bears one white, nodding flower early in the year. It is 25-30 cm. high and has two folded leaves. It is in blossom since February till April. It is found in the forest and in shadow places of the mountainous Crimea. Every year the gathers pick the snowdrops for sale. The first steps to preserve the snowdrop have been already done: by the resolution of Yalta Town Council the snowdrop is reserved.

The crocus tauricus has white, from outside lily flowers. It is in blossom from the end of February till April. It is found on the slopes of the Crimean yailas and the western Transcaucasia in the area of Novorossiysk.

The Crimean edelweiss is a perennial plant 10-25 cm. high, white fur-trimmed, with large flowers. It is in blossom in May-June. It is typical for the Crimean yailas; sometimes it forms a white carpet of flowers. It is used in parks for decoration.

The Crimean peony is a perennial plant up to 75 cm high, with pink flowers up to eight cm. in diameters. It is in blossom in May-June. The Crimean peony is found in the pine and oak forests of the mountainous Crimea. It’s very ornamental and is exterminated by the gatherers. The Crimean peonies reregistered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine as Peonica daurica Andrews.

The Pulsatilla 10-25 cm high with big flowers. It’s in blossom from March to May. It is a medicinal and ornamental plant growing in the pine and oak forests and rocky yailas. It is reserved by the Resolution of Yalta Town Council in 1971.

The Crimean cistus is a genus of shrub and plants with long leaves and big flowers.

It is in blossom in May-June. It grows on the rocky slopes and in light forests among the bushes In the Crimea it is found only in the Southern Coast.

The cistus often yields the resin ladanum.

Its resin is used in perfume industry. When it is in blossom it is very ornamental. It is may be used in parks for decoration.








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