The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Kazakhstan Revisited (2) - Familiar Faces


By AndrewR


If I asked you to name a plant in your garden that comes from Kazakhstan, would you be able to think of one? If not, read on.

The first familiar plant was an alpine which we saw on the first day, just below the snow line. It’s gentiana verna

If that’s a little to specialised for you, how about the orange-flowered hieracium auranticum? This was growing in the same area as the gentian

But if alpines are not your thing, the giant inula grandiflora will reach at least four feet in height

Two of our garden achilleas come from this part of the world. They happily take temperatures of at least -20C in the winter; it is our wet conditions they have trouble with. This is achillea macrantha, but we also saw the white-flowered achillea millefolium

Or did you know that Jacob’s ladder, polemonium caeruleum, grows in Kazakhstan?

One plant that I have failed to grow a couple of times is codonopsis clematidea. Having seen it in the wild, I am determined to try again. Here it grows in both sun and shade, although those not in full sun had paler flowers

It was also a surprise to seek this hollyhock growing beside the road

Biennial clary, salvia sclarea, was another surprise plant

There are even some plants that are native to both Kazakhstan and the UK, wild chicory for instance

We saw a lot of alliums in flower, some looking quite weedy, but allium caeruleum is one that has made the leap to British gardens quite happily

Campanuma glomerata also grows here. It was interesting to see that some local bees spent the night in the flowers, using them as a warm bed

I even spotted a white-flowered form growing in the wild

Returning to alpines, we saw aster alpinus, a dwarf daisy, very much at home high in the mountains

And even the meadow cranesbill, geranium pratensis, is a native of far-away Kazakhstan, although the ones here seemed to be a richer blue than the ones at home

To be continued

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: Kazakhstan Revisited (1) - Trees, Shrubs and Climbers

Next post: Kazakhstan Revisited (3) - Alpines



That's amazing. Easy to see why you went on holiday there!

5 Jul, 2013


it's so nice to see what are garden plants over here grwoing naturally in their original habitat!

5 Jul, 2013


Most interesting Andrew, and very informative....

19 Jul, 2013

Add a comment

Recent posts by AndrewR

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Jun, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Mar, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 May, 2010