Caucasus is the highest mountain chain in Europe, with the Elbrus peak reaching 5642 m.
|The bellflower species/klokkearten Campanula choruhensis from East Turkey/frå Aust-Tyrkia.|
Caucasus is the highest mountain chain in Europe, with the Elbrus peak reaching 5642 m. The main mountain chain runs along the border between Russia and Georgia and eastwards into Azerbaijan. A smaller one in southern Georgia, through Armenia and a bit into the neighbouring countries is known as the Lesser Caucasus. Caucasus has a very high ethnic and linguistic diversity, and the same is the case with the biology. The area has well over 6000 flowering plant species and 40 % of them are endemics, i.e. not occurring elsewhere.
The adjacent lowlands are semi-deserts or steppes, however, the mountains are as humid as ours. No wonder that plants from below and above the forest limit at 2400 m do very well in our climate. The collection includes numerous species of bellflower (Campanula), and several primulas, saxifrages and gentians. Many yellow whitlow-grasses (Draba) are decorative cushion plants during spring, whereas the large, pale-violet Scabiosa caucasica dominates in late summer.
Some species from drier areas further to the south in Turkey are grown in the steep southern slope. These may form a separate Turkey collection in the future.