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3. Flora on Kamchatka
About one thousand species of vascular plants inhabit the oblast
We are not going to describe all of them here......
But as the forest are a dominating part of the flora of Kamchatka,
they have got
their own page. Click here to learn about
the Forests in Kamchatka..
Communities in the vicinity of mineral hotsprings
and fumaroles host forty rare and
endangered species, four of which are endemic to Kamchatka.
Bytrinsky Nature Park (forest).
Initial studies of the territory's vascular plants illustrate its
distinction: A wide variety of arctic
alpine species inhabit the high plateaus and terraces, and relict
cryophilic and steppe species
are found in insular populations among the jagged cliffs. The park
forms the southern extent
of many species'geographical distribution. Fifteen are found nowhere
else in the oblast.
Alpine tundra (shrub species and lichens) dominates the mountain
lady's slipper (Cypripedium macranthon)
© Botanische Spezialitäten Erich Maier
Approximately 480 vascular plant species
inhabit the archipelago, with a low degree of edemism.
Thirty-five of these species have been introduced. Maritime quillwort
(Isoetes maritima) and pink lady's
slipper (Cypripedium macranthon)(see picture above),are rare.
Mountain tundra covers most
of the islands. Some grasslands also occur, but trees or shrubs
The islands are, however, rich with a variety of species found nowhere
else in Russia.
Aconiutum maximum var. misaoanum - Aconitum fisheri
The 'maximum' plant are produced on the meadows of Kamchatka,
and can be up
to 1,5 m high. The 'fisheri' flower is endemic to Kamchatka,
and can reach 2 m.
baneberry Rød trollbær (actaea-erythrocarpa)
away! Two or more berries in your mouth, and you'd better call the
Photo copyright Henriette Kress,
Pearly everlasting, pearl-flowered life everlasting, western pearly
copyright Henriette Kress,
ursina, a real giant herb, up to 3,5m high! Remarkable representative
for famous tall forbs of
Kamchatka. In winter-time with snow on their umbels these giants
look as exotic trees from a fairy tale.
Plants of Hokkaido and http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~yf8o-nbt/
valid as per Sept 2010)
Up to 30-40cm high, with small white flowers and
renifor rosette leaves.
It has become famous as in 1741 Georg Steller used it as antiscorbutic
remedy during the dramatic
period of his Second Kamchatka Expedition to Bering
© Carl Farmer, May 2002 Portree, from www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/
Spotted Lady's-slipper, Cypripedium yatabeanum
terrestrial orchid of open woods and slopes sparcely covered with
shrubs. Cultivation is difficult,
but that doesn't mean it is impossible, as you will see in the garden
of Erich Maier, Germany.
of Siberia and Russian Far East - Seed List 2001" and Botanische
Spezialitäten Erich Maier
of the treasures of Kamchatka. A small shrup with thick yellow-brown
branches. The ssp jezoensis in the middle, is twice as big. Flowers
yellow, on very short pedicels.
The fruit is bright red. Due to wet summer the harvest is very poor.
To be found mostly in the birch forests.
photos from left to right: ©
www.plantsindex.com and ©
Hokkaido Forest Research Institute
Arctic Daisy Dendranthema
arcticum (= Chrysanthemum arcticum) is
an ornament of Kamchatka sea shore
rocks. The white heads about 8 cm across with yellow centre on the
background of fleshy pinnatifid
leaves greet sea tides the whole summer.
Armin Jagel, Botanischer
Garten, Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Nagy's Picture Guide
Filipendula kamtschatica, is another representative of famous
Kamchatka tall forbs,
1-2 (3-4?) m high. The flowers are small, white or slightly pink
in large meadows.
As soon as the snow goes away, round the rivers,
in the ravines, at the foot of the mountains
the shelamannik, english: Meadowsweet, Filipendula kamtschatica,
a huge grassy plant that makes
"the guard" of Kamchatka's tall grasses along with krestovnik
and puchka, grows up thickly.
The stems three meters high hide a rider easily. Inside the thickets
the plants make you step by touch:
no direction seen, the sun and skies are hidden by the broad leaves,
and willy-nilly you are pleased
with bears' paths cleaving the wall of stems like tunnels. Shelamannik
is a friendly plant: leaves are soft,
stems are easy to be moved apart with hands or a stick. The shelamannik's
young sprouts are edible,
meanwhile for bears they are a rescue against hunger in the early
summer when there are neither
berries nor fish or cedar nuts yet.
(Heracleum dulce) is an insidious plant. Its juice has a sweet taste,
but leaves blisters and sores
on the skin that ache for months! The ancient inhabitants of Kamchatka,
ltelmens, extracted a sort of
sugar using puchka, and Cossacks distilled wine that produced a
strange effect: after two or three glasses
a person saw wonderful dreams, but in the morning felt so miserable
as if he had committed a crime.
on the meadows and in the stone birch forests of Kamchatka.
photos: © Kazuo Yamasaki and © www.teikyo-u.ed.jp/bio/AlpineFlowers/
valid as per Sept 2010)
glauca. In Russia people call it vanilla grass due to the pleasant
smell of small blue flowers in spike-form. Grows on wet places on
the Kamchatka tundra.
and © 1997-2003
Osamu Aoki, Gallery 3
cherlerioides. Grows mainly by the sea, and if you ever visit
you can see vertical rocks near the sea occupied by this saxifrage.
of Kamchatka's tall forbs, 1-2 m high, with yellow flowers.
© Kazuo Yamasaki and
vitis-idaea, a low bush cranberry.
Everybody in Kamchatka pick up baskets of berries from this generous
© Kazuo Yamasaki and
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