TOUR FOR BOTANISTS
Interweaving of climate types, permanent rotation of southern and northern air currents make these areas suitable habitat for over three thousand plant species, including many endemic and relict species.
Especially significant is the wealth of medicinal and aromatic herbs, wild fruits and edible fungi. Dark conifer forest (spruce, pine, fir) are credited for the name of the country – Montenegro. This is the home of one of the two European virgin forests – Biogradska gora.
Day 1. Transfer from aeroport to Kolasin. Visit Vincek’s botanical garden*
Day 2. Research Biogradska gora (one of the last three rainforests in Europe)
Day 3 Transfer to Plav, household Velemun – Brezojevice, which has its own botanical garden**
Day 4 Research in the national park Prokletije. The guide is your host and owner of the botanical garden Velemun
Day 5. Research National park Prokletije
Day 6. Transfer to the aeroport
Vincek’s botanical garden*
It is located at the meeting point of silicate massif of Bjelasica and carbonate masses of Sinjajevina mountain. The plants in the garden mostly originate from continental mountains of Bjelasica, Sinjajevina, Moracke planine, Komovi and Durmitor. Today there are about 350 plant species in the garden, considerable number of which are endemic. .From the mountain range of Prokletije, the species of mountain Hajla are represented in significant numbers. Several successful attempts have been made at including some species from highest peaks of the coastal mountains Rumija, Lovcen and Orjen.
The owner of the botanical garden, Mr Vincek, although in his eighties, greets every group and takes it around his awesome garden. Not only take, but, in a very good english language tells a story about each plant, its latin name, where from it was brought , and much more. Although he teaches young man from Kolasin, how to guide through the garden, what to tell, and that young man is pretty good in what he does, still he , and his groups like him to be the host. To maintain the garden on such a place like Kolasin is not easy at all. The climate of Kolasin is modified continental, with the lowest temperature in January, -25C and summer maximum in July and August is 25-32C. In addition to a winter hibernation period, there is a summer/autumn one, caused by the lack of precipitation.
The garden is protected, to some extent, from the gusts of nothern mountain winds bz southern exposition, and a pine forest in the hinterland. Every year a damage to the garden is caused by frost and thich snow covers, which bend shrubs and woody species.
When you walk through the garden ,you will notice that all plant species have been labelled under latin, and, partly, vernacular names, which were taken, due to the lack of their systematic study, from literature, acorrding to works of some eminent Balkan’s botanics.
How systematic Mr Vincek is in his flora research tell us also the facts that a card file and a database have been maintaned in the garden, through which the morphologyand phenophases of individual plants are observed. Also, a herbarium, which due to the lack of space, was given to the National park of Biogradska gora. The existing database is managedand updated by the Faculty of Science and Mathematics from Podgorica. The garden also possesses a library, VHS casettes, slide pictures and photo collections.
In the future, the garden will be maintained by bringing live material from terrain. They do even more, they collect and send seeds from the garden to some other gardens in Europe.
Many garden plants species can also be seen in their natural environment in the National park Biogradska gora.
The basic task of the garden is to present, gather and popularize the patrimoniuma of autochthonous mountain species of Montenegro, especially the protected and endangered ones. The garden also seeks to act educationallz and contribute to the conservation of genofund and provide foundations for scientific researches, with the support of the Faculty of Science and Mathematics, the Natural Museum, and Nature Protection Institutes.
Out of 400 species in the botanical garden, 90% belong to medicinal plants. Special importance for the continental nothern Montenegro are renewable natural resources – medicinal plants. The ancient tradition, elevation with a great number of sunny days, UV radiation, exposition and soil composition point out to that.
We suggest visit the garden from the end of May to the end of June. It is the most favorable period, and also period when we organize most of our multi day tours through Montenegro, where our tourists really enjoy.
BREZOJEVICE: RURAL HOUSEHOLD – VELEMUN**
Since his childhood days, Mico was passionate about hiking and got to know every footstep of Prokletije Mountains. For decades he shared his passion for nature with younger generations working as a professor of biology in Plav. For many years he has been carrying the plants from Prokletije in his mountain backpack and so little by little, created a botanical garden Velemun in Brezojevice, near the national park Prokletije.
You don’t have to be familiar with botany, Mico’s garden will surely enchant you with its treasury of over 350 different specimens of plants many of which are endemic, and Mico has a story about every one of them.
In the cozy log cabin next to the garden you can enjoy the candied forest fruit, juice or domestic brandy. Nature lovers will not easily leave from this place, because it is surrounded by spectacular natural beauty of mountains Visitor and Prokletije which are easily accessible thanks to the numerous paths for hiking and biking.