Sukhumi Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the Caucasus


The Botanical Garden is located in central Sukhum, Abkhazia. It was founded in 1840 as the Sukhum-Kale Military-Botanical Garden by the head of the Russian Black Sea fortification line Rayevsky N.N. with the purpose of the introduction of new plants in the region (particularly tea and citrus fruits). Turkish forces ravaged it in 1853-55 and 1877-78 in the course of the Russo-Turkish wars. The garden was transferred to civil authorities in 1889 and the restoration of the plantings was begun in 1894. Special acclimatization areas were created: the citrus area boasted about 100 varieties of citrus plants; the garden now also has bamboo, olives and tea. Quite a number of rare and precious plants were acquired from Europe, also several varieties of Australian eucalyptus. During the Soviet years, the Sukhumi Botanical Garden was turned into a research institution, which specialised in cultivation and acclimatization of useful, decorative and rare plants and it was finally transformed into the research institute of botany of the Academy of Sciences.  Its basic work includes the introduction and cultivation of new, useful plants and the study of the flora of Abkhazia. By 1950 the Sukhumi Botanical Garden collection had 580 species, 40 subspecies and over 1000 varieties of various plants. By 1992 it had over 5000 species, forms and varieties of plants from all the continents, including 1,200 tropical ones. The Botanical Garden suffered greatly during the Georgian-Abkhazian War in 1992-1993 and unfortunately, the plant collection was partially destroyed, the number of taxa was significantly decreased. Currently the garden staff is working on restoring the collection.Especially well-represented are the local flora, the plants of South-Eastern Asia, North America, the Mediterranean and Australia. Guided tours to the Botanical Garden are very popular with the city’s tourists. One of the main items of interest is the 300 years old Caucasian linden tree that grew here even before the Garden was founded. Botanical garden is a wonderful place where you can walk and enjoy the beautiful view.

Dr Vera Sergeeva



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