Bird Families

Amazing Highlanders

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Pointed yew (Taxus cuspidata Siebold et Zucc.) From the Yew family (Taxaceae) is a representative of subtropical vegetation, and therefore is relatively rare in the Far Eastern forests. However, I want to tell you about this relict plant just because every member of the Komsomol can see the pointed yew without leaving the city. There are shrubs of yew in the cedar-yew grove of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. By the way, a small amount of yew is also found outside the grove.

Pointed yew is a rare species, a relic on the northern border of the range. Listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Khabarovsk Territory, IUCN Red List, CITES Convention. Contemporary of ancient lizards, a kind of natural monument. Once, in deep antiquity, back in the Cretaceous period, tall yew forests spread widely in the Ussuri region. But the climate became harsh and the pointed yew turned into a modern stocky tree or even into a squat shrub.

In Russia, it is found only in the Far East: in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, in the Sakhalin Region. Outside of Russia, it is known in China, on the Korea Peninsula and in Japan.

What does a pointed yew look like?

Pointed yew is a coniferous evergreen dioecious tree up to 12 m high. In our cedar-yew grove (Priamurye) there is a bush, and on the sea coast there is a dwarf tree. The trunk of a yew tree is irregular in shape, the bark is thin, reddish-brown, in old trees it exfoliates in plates. The needles are flat, soft, pointed at the top. Hence the name - pointed yew.

Propagated by seeds. The seed of a yew tree is single, oval (about 6 mm in length and 4 mm in diameter), brown in color. Surrounded by a fleshy annular, coral-red, goblet prunus. It blooms, or rather dusty, in May-June. The pollen in the yew tree has no flying sacs and is therefore wind-pollinated. The seeds ripen in August-September, but I have never seen many seeds on the bush. Are the birds pecking? Or does it bear fruit badly?

Places and conditions of growth

The pointed yew lives in cedar-deciduous and coniferous forests, and grows singly or in small groups. Slow growing and shade-loving breed. In addition, it painfully tolerates sudden clarification and dies in clearings. Subsequent renewal of yew in such areas no longer occurs.

For normal development, yew needs good soils, moreover, it does not tolerate soils with high acidity. In the Sikhote-Alin mountains, the pointed yew rises to an altitude of 900 m above sea level. Prefers places with deep snow cover, which protects it from severe frosts. In such conditions, it bears poor fruit and reproduces mainly vegetatively. Yew is smoke, gas and wind resistant. In addition, he is a long-lived record holder: he can live up to 1000 years or more.

Where was yew used before entering the Red Book

The wood of the yew is fine-grained, with a narrow light yellow sapwood and a reddish-brown core. For this, the people called the pointed yew "mahogany". Dense, hard and resilient, but relatively fragile wood, it is difficult to split. Does not contain resin (as well as bark), is almost non-rotting ("nasty-wood") and is well polished. In the air it darkens, acquiring the color of "ebony".

If you keep the wood in ordinary water, it becomes purple-crimson. If soaked with lime water - violet-red. Suitable for furniture parts and decoration, for turning, carved, carpentry and souvenir products, musical instruments (flutes, clarinets, violins, etc.). In the form of sliced ​​veneer, it is used to decorate furniture, radios, televisions and other products.

Yew spiky is recognized as a medicinal plant

The needles contain coumarins, alkaloids, small amounts of hydrocyanic acid and flavonoids. Needle preparations are used in Japan for diabetes mellitus, as well as diuretics and uterine drugs. For the same indications, pointed yew is also used in Chinese medicine. The experiment revealed the ability of extracts from pine needles and wood to lower blood sugar. In case of chest diseases, the Ainu used to put on the chest a poultice of taramani (pointed yew) needles.

Floral Perennial Highlanders

They are perhaps the most beautiful! Their abundant bloom is captivating. Small dense spike-shaped inflorescences of various colors make them dominant in flower beds. The maximum decorative effect is reached at the age of 2-5 years.

Highlander serpentine

A perennial, familiar to most of us from childhood, is still loved and in demand at dachas. Today he is on the list of planned acquisitions from a considerable number of flower growers.


Highlander serpentine. Photo from google.ru

Highlander snake, or crayfish neck (Persicaria bistorta, syn.Polygonum bistorta) - a cushion-shaped evergreen perennial up to 75 cm high and up to 90 cm wide. It comes from Europe, North and West Asia. It got its specific name due to the similarity of the twisted rhizomes with reptiles. Pink spike-shaped inflorescences 5-7 cm long bloom from the first days of June.


Highlander serpentine subsp. carnea. Photo from the site ru.pinterest.com

Its decorative form is more attractive: subsp. carnea, syn. Polygonum carneum - 45-75 cm high, up to 45 cm wide, bright pink inflorescences, and cultivar 'Superba' - up to 90 cm high, inflorescences are light pink.


Highlander snake 'Superba'. Photo from the site ballyrobertgardens.com

In central Russia, it winters without shelter (withstands up to -40 ° C). It requires acidic, well-drained moistened soils: with a lack of moisture, it sheds leaves, but when watering is resumed, it is restored. Be sure to remove faded inflorescences.

It is luxurious by the ponds, beautiful in natural style borders and mixborders. Well worth the cut. Easily propagated by dividing the bush in spring or autumn.

Highlander kindred

The chic chameleon mountaineer from the Himalayas is great! On it at the same time you can see inflorescences of different colors, which darken when flowering.


Highlander kindred. Photo from davisla.wordpress.com

Related Highlander (Persicaria affinis, syn. Polygonum affine) - groundcover perennial up to 25 cm high and up to 60 cm wide. White, pink, crimson inflorescences bloom throughout the summer.

Decorative varieties:

  • 'Darjeeling red'- 15 cm high, 50 cm wide, inflorescences are dark pink,
  • 'Dimity'- 10 cm high, 45 cm wide, dark green leaves turn brown in winter, stems are wine-red, inflorescences are first white, then pink-red, when flowering - rusty-brown,


Highlander is a related cultivar 'Darjeeling Red'. Photo from the site penlanperennials.co.uk. Highlander is a related cultivar 'Dimity'. Photo from greenfusestock.photoshelter.com

  • 'Donald lowndes'- up to 20 cm high, about 30 cm wide, pink-red inflorescences,
  • 'Superba'- inflorescences are first light pink, then turn red, the leaves are brown in winter.


Highlander is a related cultivar 'Donald Lowndes'. Photo via farmyardnurseries.co.uk. Highlander is a related cultivar 'Superba'. Photo from google.ru

A typical species suffers a short-term decrease to -28.9 ° C. In central Russia, it is better to cover with humus and dry leaves for the winter. Sufficiently drought-resistant, does not tolerate stagnant waterlogging. Grows on clay and loamy soils with any acidity. Good in rockeries, mixborders and cut.

Highlander candlestick

Luxurious large Himalayan.


The highlander is candlestick. Photo from google.ru

Knotweed (Persicaria amplexicaulis, syn.Bistorta amplexicaulis, Polygonum amplexicaule) - stable creeping semi-evergreen perennial 1.2 m high and wide. Silvery green leaves up to 20 cm long are oval, slightly shriveled, pointed. Spike-shaped narrow inflorescences up to 10 cm long from bright red and purple to white, bloom from mid-summer to autumn.

Decorative varieties:

  • 'Arun Gem'- 30 cm high, 90 cm wide, undersized, dark pink spikelets (drooping tips are bronze),
  • 'Firetail'- 1.2 m high, bright red short dense inflorescences up to 10 cm long, dark green ovoid leaves with clear veins, blooms in summer and early autumn, creates thickets,


Highlander candle-shaped variety 'Arun Gem'. Photo from chrisghyselen.be. Highlander candle-shaped variety 'Firetail'. Photo from gardenia.net

  • 'Inverleith'- 45 cm high and 45 cm wide, compact, short spikelets are dark red.


Highlander candle-shaped variety 'Inverleith'. Photo from the site ballyrobertgardens.com

Perennial vines

They are no less interesting than their herbaceous relatives. Lianas "take in bulk": with the beauty of green-velvet leaves and touching graceful whitish inflorescences, a contrasting color would be clearly superfluous.

Baljuan Highlander

Abroad it is called "Russian liana", or "mile per minute", or "silver lace liana". He comes from Western China, Tibet, Tajikistan.


Baljuan Highlander,photo of the author

Highlander Baldzhuan, or Fallopia Baldzhuanica (Fallopia baldschuanica, syn.Polygonum baldschuanicum, Bilderdykia baldschuanica), with fallopia being the priority "name". Oval leaves up to 8-9 cm long are first red, then bright green. Small creamy white fragrant flowers, collected in dense, abundant panicles, cover the vine from mid-summer to autumn, giving it an amazing resemblance to clematis Clematis paniculata.

It grows quickly: during the season, the shoots are extended by 30-90 cm. Winter hardiness: withstands -34.4 ° C. A semi-shaded place is ideal for her. It looks better, more luxurious on well-drained loams with constant moisture, on poor soils it is less aggressive, withstands drought, trampling. Supports required. Pruned every year from late winter to early spring, rejuvenated at the end of winter, leaving a few centimeters, then long shoots are shortened as needed.

The Baldzhuan knotweed gives a dense living green covering for trellises, fences, walls, can also be used as a ground cover plant, decorating not only the ground, but also old stumps, and is suitable for strengthening the soil on slopes. When settling a highlander in the country, you must remember that you will have to control its growth. It is impossible let him go to live trees.

Highlander multiflorous

He comes from Central and South China, Korea. In the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, it has been growing for a long time at the old Stevenovskaya greenhouse. In China, old copies are "worth their weight in gold": in the Celestial Empire, they believe that a 100-year-old foti (root) preserves a youthful face, a 200-year-old gives a slender figure, and a 300-year-old gives immortality.


Highlander multiflorous,photo of the author

Polygonum multiflorum, or Rhinotria multiflorous, multiflorous fallopia (Polygonum multiflorum var. Hypoleucum, syn. Reynotria multiflorum var. Hypoleucum, Fallopia multiflorum var. Hypoleucum) - herbaceous liana 2-4 m high. Beautiful dark green leaves 3-7 cm long, arrow-shaped, with a wavy edge. Flowers are small, greenish-white, collected in short dense panicles up to 10-20 cm long, bloom in summer and until mid-autumn. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is known as a tonic and anti-aging agent. The extract promotes hair growth. Toxic.

Highlander Obert

Another buckwheat liana, which is called the "winding lasso" because of its violent growth. He comes from China, Tibet.


Highlander Obert, appearance. Photo from google.ru. Flowers. Photo from maltawildplants.com

Highlander Obert, or Fallopia Obert (Polygonum auberttii, syn.Fallopia aubertii, Bilderdykia aubertii) in the southern regions it grows up to 12 m high.In central Russia (in a tub) it gives shoots up to 5-7 m.All summer its lively light green cover is beautiful, from July decorated with creamy-white fragrant panicles 20 to 40 long see In bloom, this highlander is a "bee field", and small fruits in the form of nuts are a delicacy for birds.

Decorative form:

  • 'Lemon Lace'- rare, golden yellow leaves on red shoots, not so aggressive.


Highlander Oberth 'Lemon Lace'. Photo from diggingdog.com. She's in garden design. Photo from the site rotarygardens.blogspot.com

Highlander Oberta is more thermophilic than the previous species, therefore it is removed from the supports and covered like roses, tubs are brought into a frost-free room for the winter. The critical winter minimum fluctuates between -15 ° C. In the open field, a sunny or semi-shady place is selected for it. During growth, watering is abundant, responds well to fertilizing (until August), in a tub - weekly. Requires support and trimming of long shoots that are knocked out of the desired contour.

Charming in the decoration of walls, gate posts, gates and gazebos. Highlander flowers are beautiful in a vase. Propagated by cuttings from June to October.

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