Lumnitzera littorea is blooming in the Botanical Garden of Tomsk State University for the first time. The seven-year-old black mangrove tree is the only one of its kind in the SibBS orangery, grown from seeds from Lan island, Thailand,
“Black mangrove or Lumnitzera littorea bloomed in our botanical garden for the first time ever,” says Mikhail Yamburov, director of the TSU Botanical Garden. “It is from Southeast Asia and was named after Stephan Lumnitzer.”
There are more than 200 species of aquatic and swamp plants in the humid tropical orangery of the Botanical Garden, which includes 20 species of mangroves – one of the biggest collections in Russia.
Mangroves grow in tropical river estuaries in the intertidal zone. Mangrove ecosystems are unique. As Mikhail Yamburov explains, they have a large economic significance and are protected in many tropical regions. Mangroves grow in special conditions that force them to adapt to the lack of oxygen and an abundance of salt in the soil, and the constantly changing water level.
Mangroves are differentiated by the color of their wood. There are white, red, and black mangroves. Black mangroves are several species of different families, and their wood is dark.
Lumnitzera littorea blooms with bright-red, fragrant flowers that look like small stars. Interestingly, it lives in symbiosis with diazotrophs - bacteria that help the tree by synthesizing atmospheric nitrogen and providing it with nitrogen compounds. However, unlike with many species, diazotrophs live not in the mangrove root system, but on its leaves instead.
You can admire the beauty of the black mangrove in the orangery of the TSU Botanical Garden. The excursions are held on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 17:00. The entry ticket is 300 rubles standard and 200 for low fare.