Experimental pistachio samples please the scientists of the Botanical garden with high crop yield

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Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper

Experimental pistachio samples please the scientists of the Botanical garden with high crop yield

In order to preserve pistachios in nature, as well as to protect biodiversity — animals that feed on these nuts, specialists conduct plant introductions. However, with good watering and plant nutrition, the plant demonstrates wonderful characteristics in the best soil conditions. Despite the fact that the cultural pistachio gives large fruits, they cannot compare with their wild relatives in the saturation of nutrients and taste characteristics.

In our country, scientists work on crossing cultivated varieties with wild forms to get large fruits and preserve the taste of nuts. Specialists of the Botanical Garden of the Institute of Biology and Medicinal Plants spend many years of research in cooperation with environmentalists and landscape architects, who introduce pistachios both in the cultural zone and at the foothills. The analysis of health properties of the plant is held based on the selection, crossing, exchange of seedlings and seeds, which scientists regularly receive from places of natural growth of the species. Most of all, Pistacia vera — the planting material, which is grown in a number of nurseries is used. The specialists of the Inspectorate on Forest Seed Growing and the Protection of Natural Parks successfully grow seedlings in soil and climatic conditions close to the foothills. Tens of acres are annually replenished with the rare flora of Turkmenistan, and primarily pistachio. So, a unique man-made mixed forest is formed, consisting of valuable species of trees.

Many years ago, the Inspectorate handed over several seedlings to the Botanical Garden, which were planted on the territory of the mountain site. For the first ten years, the height of the stems of three successfully planted plants was not more than one and a half meters. Then, the first flowering and fruiting was recorded — a handful of nuts was harvested from each tree. All the following years, the pistachio trees were carefully treated, fertilized, watered, weeded. Now, at the age of 25—27 years, pistachios grew stronger, the trees stretched to a height of four to six meters. This April, all trees flowered, and by September, the full-grown brushes had ripened. They will be collected for seeds.

According to many researchers, modern savannah natural pistachio forests in Central Asia are only remnants of once widespread pistachio thickets. In Turkmenistan, it occurs in two forms — Pistacia vera and Badhyz pistachio, and in the Mediterranean and Asia, a discontinuous areal of growth is inhabited by 20 species of this plant. Scientists study the natural habitats of wild pistachios, highly appreciating its nutritional, medicinal and biogenetic value.

In our country, natural groves are protected in the state nature reserves, the oldest savannah thickets are located in Badhyz, there are small plots in the South-Western and Eastern Kopetdag Mountains, and also in the Koytendag Mountains. Perennial artificial forest gardens are created for scientific, greening and aesthetic purposes in the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains near Ashgabat. One of the first pistachio savannas in Badhyz was described by scientist Igor Lynchevsky, later — botanist Konstantin Popov, who studied pistachios in Central Asia, including Badhyz.

Pistachio in our country does not rise above the Turkmen Middle Mountains, its usual «neighbors» are drought-resistant mountain forest species, for example, Turkmen almonds. There are deserted pistachios, adjacent to numerous shrubs-ephemeroids — wormwood, meadow grass bulbous. Wild species of pistachio are usually multi-stemmed low trees, or shrubs with a dense crown. The leaves are very dense, leather-like, as if collected by two or three leaves. Fruits — all of us known nuts-bone, collected in racemose trusses. They are nutritious, contain rich amounts of vegetable fats, carbohydrates and minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Due to their nutritional properties, pistachio nuts are superior to walnuts and almonds. Vegetable plant raw materials are used in dyeing, tanning, paint and varnish industry.

chief research associate of
the Institute of Biology and Medical Plants of
the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan

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