Sunday, May 28, 2023

Scratching the surface on Chimgan!

Tulipa x tchimganica and Pedicularis

There are those days you'd like to put in a glass ball and keep on your mantelpiece to take down again and yet again over the years. Friday, May 25 was just such a day. After a bit too late of a start (those dang Central Asian party nights!) we finally arrived at the trailhead not long before lunch. Had we arrived as we should have at, say, 9:00am (we're not THAT far after all from Tashkent here) I have no doubt we would have twice this many pictures. I turned back earlier than Johan and Elena: they found fields of mixed tulips, peonies, Colchicum luteum and Iris korolkowii among other treasures I missed. My bad. Maybe if I sweet-talk them they'll give me those shots to append here--so do check back in a week or two! A few of the "sp." below may have better I.D.'s!

Tomorrow we fly 11 time zones back home. I have dreamed of coming to Uzbekistan for...for...I'll confess--for over half a century. I'll leave it at that. We have learned so much, seen so much. And yet I feel as though I've barely scratched the surface!

Allium jodanthum

Arum korolkowii

Astragalus sieversianus

Astragalus sieversianus closeup

Astragalus sp.

Elena Shtern photographing Atraphaxis pyrifolia

Atraphaxis pyrifolia

Crocus alatavicus

Cystopteris fragilis

Eremurus regelii

Eremurus regelii closeup

Eremurus regelii closer up

Eremurus turkestanicus

Ferula sp.

Ferula sp

Fritillaria sewerzowii

Gymnospermium albertii

Ixiolirion tataricum

Vicia sp

Lonicera sp.

Orzimat Turginov

Pedicularis sp.

Phlomoides (Eremostachys) speciosa

Phlomoides (Eremostachys) speciosa

Potentilla sp.

Prangos pabularia

Prunus cf. spinosa

Pseudosedum longidentatum and Rheum maximowiczii

Pseudosedum longidentatum

Rheum maximowiczii

    Rheum maximowiczii

Rosa kokanica

Schrenkia sp.

Scilla puschkinioides

Tulipa bifloriformis


You may have noticed that the enormous massif of Chimgan quietly photobombs most of my flower pictures in this is obviously beloved of the locals--there were many Uzbeks on the mountain that day including a party of herbal gatherers who were busy cutting some plant I couldn't identify in bundles, and lithe young Uzbek boys on horseback, recalling their ancestral horsemen of the steppes (only with cell phones in tow).

We have Pikes Peak, Seattle has Tahoma, Portland Mount Hood, Thessaly has Mount Olympus and Bursa has Ulu Dag and Bariloche has Cerro Catedral nearby: these imposing mountains that harbor so many treasures have become a sort of touchstone for me. I've been lucky to visit most of these several times...shall I ever return to Chimgan?


  1. Truely amazing flora and scenery Panayoti! The Eremurus is superb. Thanks so much for the pictures and enthusiasm!

  2. Trip of a life time. Hope your companions will let you share their pictures as well.


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