Regional Information Center "CARPATHIANS"

V. Komendar, V. Kricsfalusy, A.Lugovoy

In the most western part of Ukraine, on the southern mountainside of Eastern (Ukrainian) Carpathian mountains in the place where the geographical center of Europe is situated we can find the location of the most beautiful region of Ukraine-Transcarpathian region.

In all times and far away beyond the bounds of its, Transcarpathian region was known and is known nowadays by its majestic landscapes and rich natural forests – virgin forests, mountain alpine meadows – poloninas, plentiful mineral water, powerful tourist and recreation complex.

In Transcarpathian region as in hole Ukraine among of many problems of nowadays preservation of the environment and resources conservation has very important place. Special issues of current importance in last days are researching and state value of rare and vanishing species for the purpose of to provide the basis of its protection. Among the species of Transcarpathian region’s natural flora the most sensitive to anthropogenic press are ephemeroids, these are perennial herbaceous plants with short (usually early spring) cycle of overground development and prolonged vegetative rest. Most of ephemeroids are under the threat of disappearance: flowers are plucked, and subterranean parts of plants are digged out for the transplantation. In the chair of Botany and in the scientific laboratory under the conduct of V. Komendar experts are earring out complex monographic studies of species of ephemeroids on the population level and are designing scientific basis for its protection and reintroduction of their areas. In the Red Data Book of Ukraine (1996) are registered 1 78 species of Ukrainian Carpathians’ plants. One of the most value from scientific point of view, very beautiful and endangered species in natural flora of Transcarpathian region is Narcissus angustifolius Curt. – the flower of the legend. The only one place where we can find this flower in Ukraine is Transcarpathian region. In reserved massive of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve in foothills (about 200 meters above sea level) picturesque surroundings called “Narcissus Valley” are situated where natural meadows with Narcissus angustifolius predominance are growing up on the area of 256,5 hectares. They are famous not only in our region, our country but also all over the world. All those people who visited picturesque Valley of Narcissus will never forget this unique peace of nature: everywhere green meadows and then wild narcissus? Is it possible? How did they get here? Why we can’t see them in other analogical places? People have in addition to these many other similar questions … Just fasten your eyes on the Valley and it seems to you that some beautiful cirrostratus are floating above those green meadows…

In this publication reader will be acquainted with Narcissus angustifolius distribution in Transcarpathian region, with natural ecological systems where this plant is growing up, with some others components growing up in communities with narcissus. In addition to this, our dear readers, we will introduce you some results of research activities of our scientists. Long-term assiduous work of leading experts-biologists helped us to find out many facts about origin of narcissus, its biological structure, ecology in Transcarpathian region but there are also a lot of information that we don’t know yet. The most interesting puzzle for experts-biologists is the mystery of Narcissus -the flower of legend. Perhaps it is not even a flower but a young man called Narcissus who was by birth from ancient world of Hellas? Nowadays there is a discussion among experts about origin of the name the species Narcissus: some of them think the flower was called by the name of the young man as it legend says, others – that origin of name is more prosaic. The father of botany Carl Linnaeus named one of depicted species as Narcissus poeticus.

The total area of genus of Narcissus L. covers Mediterranean area of Europe, Africa and Asia. The most of species concentrated in southern Spain and Morocco. Narcissus is among southern (Mediterranean) geographical element of flora Narcissus grows up in mountainous systems of Southern and Middle Europe (the Alps, Balkan Peninsula, Eastern and Southern Carpathian Mts). On the territory of Ukraine this species we can meet only in Transcarpathian region where V.I. Komendar points it on 14 places in lowland and foothills, 26 places in high-mountain zone in poloninas. In Transcarpathian lowland some bushes of narcissus are concentrated in Mukachiv, Khust, Tachiv districts and in the only one place in Rakhiv district. Nowadays as a result of people’s economical activity narcissus has completely died out in 9 points of growing up in lowland and foothills. There has been preserved only 3 populations of narcissus. As mentioned above the largest area of growing up of Narcissus angustifolius is situated in Khust neighborhood and has 256,5 hectares. This is “Narcissus Valley”, which forms a part of Carpathian Biosphere Reserve.

According to research activities of V.I. Komendar Narcissus angustifolius is high-mountain plant in origin but in the period of 12-1 3 thousand years ago it became to grow up in lowland and foothills. The scientists-botanists of Uzhgorod National University conduct permanent monitoring research more than 60 years with the purpose of developing scientific basis of this unique and legendary plant conservation – for us and our future generation.

Source: V. Komendar, V. Kricsfalusy, A.Lugovoy Popular scientific edition “Flower of the Legend”. Uzhgorod, 2007 –
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