Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back in the USSR

Thanks to the hydrobotanic and one of the famous popularizer of the aquarian plants M.D. Mahlin the Anubias-plants appeared in USSR in 1960. They were Anubias afzelii, A. congensis and A. nana. In the next 30 years more than 20 varieties of these plants crossed a border of the country. The Anubias appeared on the territory of the USSR accidentally, only 1-2 bushes of each species. Then these plants were propagated vegetatively and spread among fanciers and collectors. Some bushes, especially rare species had an astronomical price. After collapse of the USSR, Asian and European farms began to supply Russian market with Anubias. As the result many old species and varieties were supplanted by new breeds and commercial names. Many species were lost and now it is very difficult to find them in free sale. But we can see some of them in different corners of our huge country. First of all, in Moscow and Saint Petersburg botanical gardens, the workers of which could save the collection of the Anubias in the difficult years of the country, when the financing was reduced. More than that there are some examples of private fanciers’ collections, which are still exist. In this note we are going to tell you about one of these collections.

Sergey Bodyagin began to take a great interest in Anubias in 1985. In spite of the fact that he was living in a small town (Ohansk, region Perm and the population is 10000), he could collect practically all species of the Anubias by that time. This collection is still the same now. Plants with “soviet” names A.spec.elliptica, A.spec.rotundifolia, A.spec.erubescens, A.spec.spathulata are successfully cultivated on the Kama’s banks. More than that Sergey Bodyagin very often uses the seed propagation of his Anubias. Particularly with the help of this method it became possible to receive very quickly a big population of each species and by means of interspecific hybridization to create new hybrid plants, which are differ from their parents by lamina form.

There are some examples of these hybrids:

A. barteri var. barteri x A. barteri var. caladiifolia
A. barteri var. nana x A. barteri var. caladiifolia
A. barteri var. caladiifolia x A. barteri var. na
A. barteri var. nana x A. barteri var. barteri

A. barteri var. caladiifolia x A. barteri var. barteri
A. barteri var. nana x A. gilletii

A. gigantea x A. barteri var. caladifolia

A. barteri var. caladiifolia x A. gigantea
A. barteri var. caladiifolia x A. аfzelii

A. аfzelii x A. barteri var. caladiifolia
A. barteri var. nana x A. аfzelii

A. аfzelii x A. barteri var. caladiifolia
A. barteri var. nana x A. lanceolata

A. hastifolia x A. barteri var. nana
A. barteri var. nana x A. gigantea

Some of the hybrid inherited from their parents not only decorative but also some useful biological features. For example, hybrid on the basis of A. barteri var. nana can be cultivated in aquarium. Besides micton-plants have usually a more active growth and viability.
Further you can see some photos of Sergey Bodyagin’s Anubias.

A.spec.undulatus var.angustifolia:

Inflorescence of A. barteri var. caladiifolia:

Inflorescence and fruit of A.barteri var.nana:

Stems of A. gilletii:

Fruit of A. gigantea:

Young seedlings of A. gigantea:

Hybrid of A. gracilis х A. barteri var. caladiif

These and many other photos you can see on the website: www.anubias.narod.ru

The author of this note: Dmitry Loginov.

The author used info from the next Web pages: http://anubias.narod.ru/new and http://www.tropica.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=23131

Translated from Russian by Julia Niklyaeva and Alexander Grigorov

Photos: Sergey Bodyagin.

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