The Crimean vegetation.

The Crimean vegetation is determined mainly by its climate which differs across the peninsula. Hot and wet climate supports forests of large trees; a drier climate may support only short grasses.

Vegetation in the Crimea is varied and rich. There are more than 3,000 species of natural and cultivated plants. Their density per sq. km (500 species) is much higher than that in the Mediterranean countries (8,3).

The territory of the Crimea is divided in two unequal parts: the steppe region and the mountain region. In the steppe Crimea, which is the driest part of the peninsula, short grasses, sagebrush, feather grass are the only types of vegetation, which can survive.

Taller grasses grow in areas with slightly more precipitation. These are known as grassland areas.

Trees, such as willows, trembling aspen, and spruce grow in river valleys where more moisture is available. A tremendous variety of flowers is found here, making a spectacular displays of colour. The mountain area is characterized by more humidity. The mountainsides are densely covered with trees.

Only the flat summits, yailas, are treeless. In May and June their slopes are like a multicoloured carpet. This land abounds in tremendous diversity of wild flowers. Many of them are common and familiar: bluebells, heather, dandelions, poppies, mallows, geraniums and periwinkles.

Some of the flowers grow in remote places, where only careful searching can locate them. To these belongs the Crimean edelweiss, listed in the Red Data Book.

Among the first flowers to appear in spring, are primroses, snowdrops, marigolds, pasque (Easter), bellwort, violets. Many of them were once a very common sight, but have declined greatly. In summer such flowers are abundant: white and pink clovers, chicory, toad-flax, sweet pea, yellow fawn lily, bull thistle, common firewood, ox-eye daisies.

To natural vegetation growing without human interference refer also mushrooms which are widely distributed in the Crimea and have a wide range of shape, colour and taste. Many of them are edible, some are poisonous.

The edible mushrooms are morel, truffle, honey fungus, birch boletus, chestnut boletus, brown ring boletus, brown cap boletus, puffball, goat’s beard and others. The poisonous mushrooms include fly-agaric, toadstool, Satan’s mushroom, wooly milkcup and Amanita.

In the course of time less and less natural vegetation is being left. Most of the land has been taken over for farming or building. In many areas trees are cut down, and replanting of seedlings goes slow. In the steppe zone roads and pipelines are being built making this area more vulnerable.

The ecosystems are fragile, and many plants are vanishing. Our duty is to preserve them all their magnificent beauty for this and future generations.

A wine culture in the Crimea existed since the 4th century BC. Wine cultivation in the Crimea started from this period. Presses and Greek amphoras were found in Kеrkinitida, Chersonese, Kafa and others. There are a lot of the vineyards in the Crimea.

The main vine varietals are Aligoté, Muscat, Isabella, Traminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Fetească, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rkatsiteli.

White wines

Aligoté Wine has the original colour : from light-straw to golden one. The pleasant fine, distinctive taste with a shade of violet.

Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc Wine has golden shades and harmonious delicate taste.

Rieslingisthe Wight wine: after 1,5 years of seasoning it obtains the particular freshness, refinement, flower fragrance with the pleasant tints of fir and pine pitches.

Chardonnay wine has the light gold shades.

Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon is the King of red wines. Color is intensive dark-red. Full-bodied fragrance and taste of black currants, and black currants leaves.

Merlot is the wonderful vine with shades of sweet-cherry, the wine has long aftertaste.

Pinot Noir is full-bodied, oily wine. It is used as a base in blend wines.

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