Armenia and Nepal Floral: Diversity at the crossroad of Empires

Armenia is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, uniquely placed at the heart of the ancient silk roads it is a junction for floral diversity, where north, south, east and west converge.

Extinct volcanos and mountainous terrain protect Armenia from the harsh winds blowing from the Russian steppe. Blasts of warm air from the Iranian plateau arrive in Armenia’s valleys and mix with moisture from heavy snowfall creating a tapestry of diverse vegetation zones, home to around 3,500 species of plants.

This talk will be exploring two of those vegetation zones, as well as looking at how economic, political and cultural pressures continue to shape the landscape and how in return the landscape has become a treasured natural resource.

Faye is a 3rd Year Diploma student, training at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. fayre has a particular interest in Mediterranean, Irano-turanean flora and ecological history. Before Kew Faye trained as an apprentice at Fulham Palace, worked for local landscape company Sallis Chandler as part of a small RHS Chelsea gold medal winning team and volunteered at Chelsea Physic Garden, and with the London Wildlife Trust.

The rich flora of Nepal reflects its extreme topography and its position at the intersection of distinct floristic regions.

In April 2019 Neil set out to observe the diversity of its plant life by visiting three different biogeographic zones, beginning in the sub-tropical lowland jungle of the Terai, up into the cloud forest of the mid-hills and finally above the tree-line to the peaks of the Himalayas. This lecture will give an overview of the ecology and ethnobotany of the regions and highlight the range of plants observed, from staples of British gardens to the exotic species found in the humid hothouses of botanic gardens.

Neil began his horticultural career as a domestic gardener before discovering a passion for botanical horticulture whilst completing a Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture at Askham Bryan College in the North East of England. Subsequently he went on to train at University of Oxford Botanic Garden before undertaking the Kew Diploma at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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Armenia and Nepal Talk

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