Vegetation of Belarus varied and unique. We still have both relic plants and arctic varieties of birches, tundra, steppe and semi-desert species. In this article, we will look at what interesting wild plants our country can be found today, we talk about the ten most unusual.
1. Dwarf birch (lat. Betula nana)
В Belarus this relic and unique species was recorded in 10 districts: Borisovsky, Miorsky, Dokshitsky, Polotsk, Myadelsky, Rossonsky, Postavsky, Sharkovshchinsky, Sennensky and Shumilinsky. If conditions change in the swamps where the tree lives, then it may disappear. Therefore, birch is red book. It looks more like a shrub, and fully justifies its name, growing no more than 1,5 meters.
The branches of the tree are either raised up or extend above the ground. In autumn, the glossy leaves of the mini birch burn with a bright red fire, and during this period it is especially beautiful. It is interesting that the “earrings” of a tree are the size of a fingernail, and do not hang like all birch trees, but stick up like horns. Birches are pollinated by the wind. After that, pistillate “earrings” appear, in which fruit-nuts with wings ripen. The wind also blows them apart.
2. Snow galanthus (lat. Galanthusnivalis)
This is the one real snowfallto, which from under the snow makes its way to the sun. For a long time it was believed that in the wild this character from the fairy tale about “12 months” does not grow in Belarus, but is only cultivated in flower beds. However wild snow galanthus found in the southwest.
Like most bulbs, most of the year the snowdrop is underground, wakes up in the fall and begins to grow roots. In early spring, the flower releases several lily leaves, and then delicate bell flowers bloom, which are not afraid of either snow cover or spring frost. Interestingly, snow galanthus spreads with the help of ants. Insects feed their larvae with the nutritious part of the fruit, and discard the rest. This is where the flower comes from.
3. Leafless chin (lat. Epipogium aphyllum)
Since the 20s of the last century, there was no information about this plant in Belarus, so it was attributed to disappeared. Then, in 2009, one copy leafless chin found in the Braslav district and since then nothing has been heard about him again. The fact is that the development cycle of this flower has one curious feature. If the plant does not like the external conditions, it can be underground for a very long time, not showing itself in any way.
The place of growth of the beard chooses damp places in forests, both deciduous and coniferous. The leaves of this perennial plant are absent, there are only membranous scales that wrap around the stem, making it very thick in diameter. The leafless chin is pollinated by bumblebees. Being a rare endangered wild plant, the plant is declared red book.
4. Chilim (Water chestnut) (lat. Trapa natans)
Chilim grows mainly in the southern part of our country. He needs shallow, well-warmed clean reservoirs. Water chestnut may disappear if the lakes become polluted and waterlogged.
The plant is very interesting: Here are at least its leaves, of which there are three types on chilim. First underwater - filamentous grow on the stem of the plant and soon fall off. Then appear second underwater: long and narrow, like stripes. BUT third - these are floating floating leaves resembling birch leaves and they are also peculiar. Their petioles are swollen, with air inside. Thanks to this feature, the leaves do not sink and stay afloat.
Chilim flowers are also unusual. In autumn, its small white flower turns into a strange squiggle with four spikes. With their help, it takes root in the silt, germinates and forms into a new shoot. Chilim fruits are tasty and somewhat reminiscent of nuts. By the way, the water chestnut once played the same role in the diet of our ancestors as we have potatoes today.
5. Red pollenhead (lat. Cephalanthera rubra)
It is found in the central and southern regions of Belarus. pollenhead The plant was named because the anthers in its flowers stick up. Despite intensive vegetative reproduction (the formation of shoots on the roots), in order to expand the occupied territory, the pollenhead requires propagation by seeds. Those, in turn, germinate only next to the mushrooms, and in the future are inextricably linked with them.
For the first 3-4 years, the pollenhead lives underground, and under adverse conditions it can stay there for a long period (up to 20 years). Another interesting fact from life red pollenhead is that there is no nectar in its flowers, which pollinating insects fly to feast on. Therefore, the plant is forced to lure them with a mixture of ethanol and narcotic substances contained in the pollen.
The red pollenhead is endangered due to deforestation, animal grazing, and the collection of flowers in bouquets.
6. Lily curly (lat. Lilium martagon)
In the popular way - saranka, royal curls, Turkish lily. Turkish because the contour of the flower looks like a turban, but the curls - because of the intricately curved shape of the petals of the inflorescence.
Lilia curly loves broad-leaved forests and partial shade, is found in the central part and in the south of the country. Deforestation and the collection of large quantities of flowers for bouquets contribute to the reduction in the number of this wild plant.
7. Tiled skewers (lat. Gladiolus imbricatus)
It occurs in the northern part of Belarus, grows in meadows and forest edges. This bulbous plant from the iris family has an upright stem with a massive inflorescence of many purple flowers.
Latin name skewer came from the word "gladiolus" - a small sword, it is on this weapon that the leaves of a flower look like.
8. Sleep-grass (Pulsatilla open) (lat. Pulsatilla patens)
The distribution area of this flower in Belarus is quite wide, but it is shrinking every year. Sleep-grass does not like shade, so it prefers to grow in old forests where tree density is low. However, due to human activities, forests are constantly rejuvenated. As a result lumbago or "hides" under the ground, or even disappears in this area. It also blooms only under favorable conditions for it.
Sleep-grass is a character of many beliefs and legends. So, for example, earlier this plant was carried with them in order to scare away evil spirits. They believed that, placed at the corner of a house under construction, the lumbago flower would keep peace and comfort in the dwelling, and if you hide the sleep-grass under the pillow, it would show the future in a dream.
9. Yellow rhododendron (lat. Rhododendron luteum)
In Belarus wild yellow rhododendron found in swampy forests, mainly on Gomel region, and somewhere in the Brest region. The plant is listed in the Red Book, and the thickets of yellow rhododendron growing near Chervonnoye Lake (Zhitkovichi district) are now a natural monument of republican significance.
It is an overgrown, branched shrub up to 4 meters high. At the end of May, he dresses up in large golden flowers and transforms into a chic handsome man. But do not admire this beauty for a long time. Rhododendron yellow exudes an intoxicating aroma, which is dangerous for those who are very sensitive to smells. Plant nectar is also poisonous, bees die after tasting it.
10. Iris (Iris Siberian) (lat. Iris sibirica)
Of the three species of wild irises growing in Belarus, only Siberian.
The Greek “iridos”, which means rainbow, crept into the name of the plant. In ancient times, when a large pantheon of gods was worshiped in Greece, the rainbow goddess Iris was among them. So the plant was so named because it grew out of a rainbow that fell to Earth, and now it pleases a person with a multi-colored palette of colors. The second name of the killer whale was due to its leaves, which are shaped like a long narrow sword, and in a curved form resemble a scythe or saber. Iris grows mainly in the south and southeast of Belarus, in wet meadows and swamps with sedge.
The flora of Belarus includes about 2000 kinds of plants. Of these, 182 species of vascular plants, 31 species of bryophytes, 21 species of algae, 24 lichens and 35 fungi are listed in the Red Book. It is worth remembering that for the unauthorized removal of Red Book plants and for their destruction, a fine of 10 to 30 basic units is provided.
Author: Ekaterina Golubnichaya
all photos from the site pixibay under a free license.