MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Blog Archive

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Where 'Amur' Plants Came From

The pup on my blog's header picture is called Amur. Sounds almost like 'Love' in French. But, this is actually the name of one of the world's longest rivers.
You might not know much about this river, but you sure know some plants which have the word 'amur' in their names. These are some examples:
Acer ginnala (Amur Maple),
Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle):
.

.
Adonis amurensis (Amur Adonis):
.

.
Phellodendron amurense (Amur cork tree),
Maackia amurensis (Amur Maackia),
Prunus maackii (Amur Chokecherry),
Vitis amurensis (Amur grapevine):
.

.
Berberis amurensis (Amur barberry),
Phellodendron amurense (Amur oak),
Syringa amurensis (Amur lilac):
.

.
The Amur River is formed by the joining of the Argun and Shilka rivers, and its length is 2,900 miles. It flows along the southeastern border of the Russian Far East and Northeastern China and then empties into the Pacific Ocean via the Strait of Tartary.
*

Photo: Wikipedia
*
I well remember this wide, powerful and gigantic river. All the men in my family, all my friends, neighbors and aquaintances used to fish in the Amur River. We used to swim and take boat trips on the Amur, walk along its banks and cross it in the winter when it's covered by thick ice.
.
The city of Khabarovsk, Russia on the Amur River.
*
The Amur riverbank is the place to watch the annual spectacular show of icebreaking in the spring. All residents of coastal towns and villages try to find time to come and look at this unforgettable performane of nature's forces crushing, breaking and piling huge, heavy pieces of ice. It's quite a scene - the fast flowing river carries icebergs in shapes reminding me of abstract paintings. The crackling sounds of crushed ice can be heard far and wide.
*
Back to plants.
The various, sometimes extreme, landscape, soil, climate, etc. features contribute to the incredible biological diversity of the Amur basin.
The species' variety is remarkable and includes tropical lianas, northen conifers, steppe grasses, rare water plant, etc. Some examples of the rare and endangered plants included in the Russian Red Data Book are:
Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium macranthon):
.

.
Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus):
.

.
Japanese pagonia (Pagonia japonica),
Water Chestnut (Trapa natans):
.

*
Unfortunately, resources of the Amur basin are being extremly exploited. Nature conservation here is recognized as a global priority. Careless grass burning, logging, mining, road construction, industrial disasters such as a major water pollution incident due to the explosion of a Chinese petrochemical plant in November 2005... Thinking about all of these makes my heart beat at an elevated rate and my blood pressure go up....
To finish this post on a positive note, I want to show you one of my favorite plants from the Amur basin, Nelumbo komarovii. This is the Lotus which survives in the coldest conditions of any known lotus. It grows in the Amur region of the Russian Far East which is located north of China and North Korea:
.

The picture of Igor Shpilenok at http://www.shpilenok.com/

*
My earlier posts about two of the inhabitants of Amur basin forests, Chinese magnolia vine (Schizandra chinensis), and Amur maple are here: Amur Maple, Black Caviar and The Dog On My Blog , This Plant Is A WWII Hero. (Vine For Shade)
**
The UN declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) to disseminate information, promote the protection of biodiversity and encourage organizations, institutions, companies and individuals to take direct action to reduce the constant loss of biological diversity worldwide.
.

*

Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

26 comments:

  1. Wow - I never the origin of Amur - great post beautifully illustrated! Too bad the basin is not being treated with the respect it deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A very informative post Tatyana! I learned a lot. I love Lotus blossoms, and that one looks just amazing. It almost doesn't look real. I can't believe it grows so far north.

    ReplyDelete
  3. PLEASE consider entering one of these flower photos in my free photo contest...June's theme is FLOWERS..and that ladyslipper closeup is PERFECT for it...!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a special river....your family history and the diversity of beautiful plant life makes it very special. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Tatyana, What an intriguing posting and containing so much which previously was unknown to me. Russia, for me, remains one of the most fascinating of all countries and so I was drawn to those wonderful images of the Amur and the city on its banks. I love the idea of a tradition each spring to watch the break up of the ice. The Danube too has much ice in winter, but not on the same scale.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fascinating! So many plants, as you say, so much that is quite foreign to my thinking... I've never thought, for instance of what happens when the upper reaches of a river are frozen but the lower not - or vica versa... And what happens when a river thaws. I only know about bird baths freezing up! Thanks for this interesting post. (I did indeed associate your dog with the Amur Oak, without asking why!) Jack

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for the wonderful tour of the Amur River basin~It'a absolutely beautiful and that plant life~ Wow. Hopefully the conservation efforts will stop the losses. A lesson that the entire planet is still struggling with~gail

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Tatyana - thanks for this great post - never realized the the history behind some of the plant names. And what a terrific city beside the river Amur - fabulous architecture.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That was pretty interesting, thank you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. I knew it meant Russian or Siberian or something like that! Great info, and great photos! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tatyana, thank you for the wonderful history lesson and for all the beautiful photos. The city of Khabarovsk has quite an extraordinary location.

    PS. no bench beneath the dogwood, but just a few feet away near the Cedar. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. It sounds like the same thing is going on there as it is many beautiful places around the world. I wonder when we'll all get the message? I hope it can be saved ~ it sounds and looks like an incredible piece of our precious planet. Those lady slippers ~ WOW! What I wouldn't do to be able to grow some here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Absolutely fascinating. Nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tatyana, Thank you for such a wonderful lesson in geography and botany. (Does that make it geo-botany?) That lotus is so beautiful that it takes my breath away! -Jean

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree, this has been a very educational post indeed. Those Lady Slippers are so pretty, such a wonderful assortment of plants in this Amur category. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Each time I look at your post I admire the wonderful header photo of the pup! It's nice to have a name to go with the photo. This is such an informative and enjoyable post - I think the picking legend needs a rating for "informative". The lotus is absolutely beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing all about Amur. Blessings
    Kay

    ReplyDelete
  18. Do you, could you get, that lotus to grow in your garden now?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Maackia amurensis is definitely on my to find/plant list. I knew "Amur" was associated with Russia somehow, but it goes quite a bit further south than I thought.

    We like to watch the ice break up here in spring, too. There is a lottery to guess when the ice will go out on a certain river in the interior of my state and the winnings have traditionally been 6 figures. Not bad;)

    Thanks for trying to track down that white grass for me...I guess I'll transfer my plant desires to that hardy Nelumbo instead!

    Christine in Alaska

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Tatyana,
    That's a cute puppy. How long have you had it?

    I enjoyed your photos of the plants and scenes from Russia. That sounds like a spectacular event, when the ice is melting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Tatyana thank you for sharing all of this about Amur. I would like to see the spring breakup of the ice too. Do you ever go back to visit?
    The Amur flowers you show us here are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dear Tatyana; a wonderful, interesting post. This area must be a natures wonderland with all the plants named after it. Yes, Russia is a great and mighty country with culture, music, literature which I read with fascination and it always left a certain wanderlust to see this huge country. I also read "Russka" by Edward Rutherford.
    The breaking of the ice on this BIG river must be a show never to forget.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Well, in my ignorance of geography, I had never heard of the Amur River! Thank you for introducing it to me. It is quite beautiful. I can imagine what sights and sounds are associated with the ice breaking! You featured some lovely plants, especially that lotus!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ever so interesting Tatyana - its a real pity that places like this are being exploited. Those scenic pictures from Amur are ever so beautiful too.

    Now I can understand why some chinese authorities restrict access to some more remote areas. I have a dear friend who has been in some of the remote areas with the Chinese Botanics and he himself has found some new species of plant. He's planning on going out again next year as he says there's so much to discover there.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a beautiful and historic legacy his name reminds you of.

    He is so cute.

    RE: your comment, yes she did think that we were robbers, and possibly going to do some sort of damage in broad daylight.

    Like I said, two peacefully happy, middle aged women. It makes me laugh... if she only knew how incapable we both are at this moment of doing anything more then slowly walking....

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tatyana, How interesting and beautiful is the Amur basin - I have the ginnala maple. How interesting to know it's hope. I think we are too alkalai here in the Dakotas and the little tree tends to get the "yellows" I feed it left over coffee and coffee grounds trying to get the ph a little more acid.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I appreciate your time! See you soon on your blog!

Search This Blog

Loading...

Follow by Email

Share it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I'M GLAD TO SEE YOU!

Copyright 2009-2014 TatyanaS, MySecretGarden Blog



My New Plants Fundraising!

-->