|Location||Mardakan, Baku, Azerbaijan|
Mardakan arboretum is located in the Mardakan township on the semi-arid Absheron peninsula, 40 km away from Baku.It was a personal garden of Murtuza Mukhtarov, a tycoon and oil millionaire of his time around 1895-1920s. Currently, an area of the Arboretum is 24 hectares. The Arboretum is listed among the world’s richest collections for the number and age of flora species. About 1,800 species including 1,540 plant types and breeds both from Azerbaijan and many other countries are being introduced to visitors.
- 1926: Established by well-known botanist and academician Nikolai Vavilov. The Eastern trans-caucasian branch of the Institute was organized on the basis of former suburban state farm.
- 1930: After the reorganization of the All-Union Institute of applied botany and new cultures, the branch was entered into the system of All-Union Institute of Horticulture as its department.
- 1936: Appointed experimental station for dry subtropics.
- Between 1945 and 1964: Included a research and development base for gardening, viticulture.
- Between 1945 and 1963: New species were introduced. This helped to ground the development of subtropical plant cultivation, selection and improvement of the sorts of pomegranate, olive, fig, Asian persimmon, and also to divide the park into districts scientifically.
- Between 1964 and 1966: The park was managed by the Ministry of Health of the Azerbaijan SSR.
- 1966: It was donated by the state to the botany institute of the National Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR.
Activity of the arboretum
Mardakan arboretum is 4,5 km from the shore of the Caspian Sea. The territory of the arboretum is 12 hectares. 80-85% of the arboretum is covered with limestone. The soil cover is represented by various soil combinations. With increasing distance from the sea heavier and lighter sandy-loam grounds are encountered, which consists of insignificant depth of 0,5 to 1,5 metre. Only natural lignose and shrubs are almost absent. Cascara buckthorn, Georgian honeysuckle, tamarix, feral fig and other plants are encountered between the rocks. Arboretum’s vegetation exists on the ground, imported from Lankaran and with artificial watering. The water is taken from deep wells, filtered through the limestone, 30–80 m depth. Water from the wells is pulled into pools, from which it is divereted through the territory of the park through pipes. The pools were built in between 1903 and 1905.
According to Tofig Mammadov, the director of Mardakan arboretum, the overall quantity of species of flora and fauna in arboretum is about 1'700.