Yerevan Botanical Garden
The Yerevan Botanical Garden of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences is the responsible body for plant collections in Armenia. It is located in the Avan district at the north-eastern part of the capital Yerevan, occupying around 80 hectares of a semi deserted area. The collection includes more than 200 species of endemic, rare and declining plants, and provides a basis for the study of Armenian flora and the ecological interactions of species, in a relatively natural environment.
The Yerevan Botanical Garden was opened in 1935 in the north-eastern part of Yerevan. The Botanical Institute was opened three years later. The collective greenhouse was founded in 1939 occupying 25 square meters. In 1944 a new greenhouse was built, the overall territory of which was 610 square meters. It included the winter garden (106 sq.m.), section of succulent plants, section of subtropical plants (126 sq.m.), section of tropical plants (126 sq.m.) and section for houseplant cultivation. In 1950, the garden became the largest part of the Botanical Institute. In the period between 1954–1970, the Director of the Botanical Institute and the botanists L.B. Makhatadse and A.O. Mkrtchyan put a large collection of Caucasian flora together, so that almost every plant of Armenia was represented the approximately on 16 hectare area. At the same time, a big rosary and lily garden was created as well. In addition, there were more regions represented: the Caucasus, North America, Europe, Siberia and East Asia.
Much of the collection consists of representatives of the Family Cupressaceae, and Varieties, Pinaceae, Fabaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Oleaceae, Rosaceae, the generator: Juniperus, Quercus, Syringa, Clematis.
In the park, there were typical Caucasus plants like Quercus castaneifolia, Hedera helix, colurna Corylus, Juniperus sabina, Parrotia persica and Populus euphratica.
As a representative of the North American flora Liriodendron tulipifera, Juglans nigra, Common TrompetenbaumCatalpa bignonioides, Juniperus virginiana, Yucca filamentosa.
From Europe and Siberia, Aesculus hippocastanum, Cercis siliquastrum, Quercus robur, Larix sibirica
From the East-Asian region Biota orientalis, Sophora japonica, Metasequoia glyptostroboides.
In 1980s the greenhouse collection encompassed 1240 species and garden sorts that belonged to 348 classes and 92 families. In the winter garden they cultivated Waschingtonia filifera, Cocos romanzowiana, subtropical fruit-bearing plants like Acca selloviana, Eucaliptus, Laurus nobilis. The greenhouse was especially rich in collection of succulent plants. Among the ferns, there were presented rare and interesting sorts of the class of Platucerium, Asplenium, Adianthum, Pteris. In the section of tropical plants in a special place they used to cultivate representatives of orchid family which are singled out by a unique structure and scent of the flower. In the section of houseplants they used to cultivate various decorative beautiful blossoming and leave decorative plant species, garden sorts belonging to the class of Begonia, Crinium, Clivia, Fuchsia Nerium, Passiflora, Pelargonium. Close to the greenhouse there was the department of production of tropical and subtropical plants. From here annually over 200 species of plants were used for decorating the interior of schools, factories and other organizations.
The collection and cultivation of endangered plant species is considered as a main task of the garden (there are 400 endangered plant species in Armenia). Of particular interest here are Taxus baccata, Hedera helix, Juniperus sabina, Zelkova carpinifolia, Rhododendron caucasicum. Another goal is the environmental education. Scientists around the botanical garden in the past had always appeared in the media and wrote articles about the problems of environmental protection in Armenia. They also offer advice on educational institutions, industry and private plant seeders. Field trips for school children are carried out constantly, many students in agricultural biology make this their field studies. There have also been previously unexplored irregularities; some bushes and trees grew in certain areas unnaturally fast. A large number of local and introduced plants were tested on their growth conditions and later successfully planted around the Lake Sevan.
The Botanical Gardens in Armenia are currently not in a good state. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the financial resources for the parks disappeared. During the great energy crisis in 1988 many trees were cut down for heating, so that the garden was severely damaged again. At present, the specialists of the garden remove the damages and keep on expanding the existing collection. The energetic crisis caused also a great damage to the collection greenhouse. The collection of tropical and sub-tropical collection was almost totally destroyed, frostbitten, the whole glass surface was completely destroyed, the watering and heating systems were set out of order, the walls and the shelve stands of the greenhouse fell down, the greenhouse completely terminated its functioning. During the following years there were new losses due to the constant changes of plants rooms in winters, as a result of which the remaining collection was also considerably reduced. Today there is a huge necessity of restoring the economy of the greenhouse, for this purpose it is necessary to implement the activities which are presented in the table below. Currently the Botanical garden is not able to function properly which is due to the lack of enough financial support. The garden being a constituent part of the institute of Botany is financed within the very limited base budget of the institute, with which it is absolutely impossible to implement its scientific and productive functions.
Other botanical gardens in Armenia
Vanadzor Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden of Vanadzor is located at the southern end of the town about 1400–1450 m above sea level. Because of its special climate, not only local plants grow there. Most of the plants are representatives of the following families: Pinaceae, Cupressaceae, Rosaceae, Caprifoliaceae and Salicaceae, Oleaceae and Fabaceae. Significantly involved in the creation of the collection were DG and P.D. Yaroshenko, L.B. Makhatadse and A.A. Grigorian.
Sevan Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden of Sevan with an area of 5 hectares, is the smallest among the three parks. It is located very close to Lake Sevan, a small cove, well-protected from the wind, at the northern end of the town. There are most of the representative of the families of the Rosaceae, Caprifoliaceae and Fabaceae.