May 28, 2023

The Russian Geographical Society invites nature lovers to help collect data on one of the most beautiful and at the same time dangerous plants in our country. You can become a participant in the action “Caucasian ash tree. Habitat” until the end of June 2023.

Caucasian ash tree (Dictamnus caucasicus) is a beautiful herbaceous plant resembling an orchid. In May-June, it begins to bloom and is covered with large flowers of a lilac-white hue, sometimes with purple-pink streaks.

The plant got its Russian name due to the shape of the leaves, reminiscent of ash foliage. He also has other names: wild star anise, fire-grass, fire-flower, burning bush.

Caucasian ash is one of the most dangerous plants. Its flowers and seed pods contain essential oils that, when inhaled, can cause allergies, burn the mucous membrane of the nose and throat. The flowers smell like citrus, but you can’t smell them. Skin contact may cause chemical burns up to the second degree.

– This dangerous plant can be encountered on the way of any person: on a hike or expedition, and just during an excursion. We want to create a detailed map of the growth of this dangerous plant. Identifying places where the flower has not previously been seen but is now noted will help us understand the causes of this phenomenon and prevent its further spread. The task of volunteers within the framework of this project is to photograph the Caucasian ash tree, marking the time, date of shooting and geolocation. The more participants from different regions with different climates take part in the project, the more data will be obtained for research on the study of flowering and distribution of this plant, – Olga Rovkina, its leader, spoke about the project.

To take part in the campaign, you must make observations of the ash tree on the portal or in the “World Around the World” mobile application or respond to an application for collecting materials on the portal until May 26, 2023 link. Volunteers who submit applications by the deadline will become participants in the online meeting, which will be held on May 28 at 17:00. Additional information will be sent to registered users separately.

All participants who added observations of the Caucasian ash tree in the period from 05/22/2023 to 06/30/2023 or responded to the application on the portal of the World Around the World project will receive an electronic personal certificate from the Russian Geographical Society and the Youth Club of the Russian Geographical Society “Sober”.

Attention: when observing the Caucasian ash tree, be extremely careful. Do not touch or try to smell the plant. If you have a predisposition to allergies, refrain from observing this species. Please carefully read the rules for conducting phenological observations before entering the route.

More information about the promotion can be found on the portal “World around”.

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