Wonders of the M. M. Hryshko National Botanical Garden
The garden is home to numerous exotic plants
Lovers of exotic plants have a feast for the eyes at the M. M. Hryshko National Botanical Garden in Kyiv.
In its greenhouse complex, one can experience a mini-world tour of plant life.
The greenhouse complex was built prior to World War II. Meanwhile, its collection of exotic plants has been actively replenished since the 1970s.
Some five thousand plant species reside in its 4 thousand square meters.
“The minimum temperature here is about 15 degrees Celsius if you do not turn on the heating, the humidity is maintained by the constant watering of the plants, paths, soil. Moisture is evaporating and on hot days, when the temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius, the humidity can be 90 percent or more,” said Zhanna Yaroslavskaya, the garden’s senior researcher.
One of the more unusual finds at the garden is a species of Caryota palm. The palm blooms just once in its lifetime but stays in bloom for over nine years.
“During this period, the locals make notches on flowering shoots and collect palm sap, just as we collect birch. Then ferment it and get palm wine. And the most delicious palm wine is from Caryota palm,” Yaroslavskaya said.
You can also find the Roystonea or Royal Palm in the garden. The massive palm tree, which typically exists in the Carribean islands and along the adjacent coasts of Florida, Central America and South America, has gotten quite tall.
And of course, there’s the collection of azaleas and camellias.
“It’s symbolic because, in 1946, Germany brought us 20 varieties of azaleas. Our breeders have since worked and received more than 30 varieties. The original German varieties are almost all preserved,” an employee said.
There are over 600 species of orchid hybrids in the garden, 50 species of cacti, and 70 succulents from Central America, South America, and Africa.
Most cacti prefer to bloom at night when the heat subsides and their pollinators wake up. Among succulents, huge agave from Mexico are distinguished by huge thick leaves and tall peduncles, which are stems supporting flowers.