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The Glorious (Fruit Tree) Glossary
We also know that on average the gardens contained 28 trees (with counts ranging from 1 to 673). And because three of the registers recorded both the quantity and type of trees present in each garden (well, to be more precise, they recorded the quantity and type of fruit trees) we can piece together a tree-scape of 15,742 plants.
The classification scheme at work in the registers is reproduced in this glossary. To give the entries depth, we have drawn on the work of Karl Gablits (1752-1821), a naturalist and geographer whose Physical description of Tavrida Province (1785) revealed the botanical world of Crimea to curious audiences in Russia and throughout Europe. To what extent do these sources complement one another? Consider this:
- Gablits' study came on the heels of annexation (1783); the garden registers were compiled a decade later (1793).
- Gablits' work was designed to make the Crimean tree-scape recognizable to the reading public (and in particular to members of the European scientific community); the registers were designed to secure property claims and profits for the imperial government.
- Gablits' work is qualitative and textual; the registers are tabular and quantitative.
Now, the Good Stuff.The Glossary includes all 16 fruit-bearing trees named in the registers.
Clicking a tree name from the list below will open a page chock-full of information. Alternately, click on any red dot to see which villages contained gardens with that tree type. To see which other tree types were found at the same location, click the name of the village that interests you. Drag the dots around to reveal connections, and simply click any dot again to "close" it. You can "open" as many dots as you like. Curious what this looks like?
The Disappearing Fruit Trees of Crimea
Five entries in the master list of Crimean trees do not appear in the garden registers of 1793. What is this "master list" you ask?
Karl Gablits composed the list and published it as part of his Physical Description of Tavrida Province in 1785. The list of fruit-bearing trees (he composed a separate list of decorative trees) contains twenty-one entries. Sixteen appear in the garden registers of 1793 and therefore in the Glorious Glossary of (Fruit) Trees.
So which trees disappeared?#1: The Apricot (абрикос; Prunus Armeniaca)
Gablits describes the apricot as likewise ubiquitous, especially around Staryi Krym and Sudak.
#2: The Pomegranate (гранат; Punica granatus)
Gablits admits that this one is more particular, growing only in the coastal gardens of the south, though they grow wild in the forests as well. The pomegranate is known for its medicinal properties. Any good apothecary would be pleased to get his hands on some.
#3: The Red Currant (красная смородина; Ribes rubrum)
These are found only at Bahcesaray, though they grow there in large numbers.
#4: The Cornelian Cherry (кизил; Cornus mascula)
Gablits claims it is absolutely everywhere: in every garden, in every forest, on every mountain.
#5: The Hackberry (каркас; Celtis orientalis)
Gablits tell us it thrives from Balaklava to Yalta and is happiest on stony southern ground. The berries have medicinal properties.
naturalist, botanist, official
04/02/1752 - 10/09-1821
[Карл-Людвиг Иванович Габлиц]
Born: 1752 in Prussia
BackstoryGablits settled in Russia as a child. At age 17 he joined the Gmelin expedition to southern Russia and Persia. He served as overseer of the state gardens at Astrakhan and in 1781 joined the Caspian expedition. He was appointed vice-governor of Tavrida (Crimea) in 1784 and later (1801) as director of state forests within the Ministry of Finance. He received a dacha in the Baydar Valley near Balaklava and a vineyard near Sudak.
Why He MattersPrince Grigory Potemkin commissioned Gablits to produce the Physical Description of Tavrida Province. Catherine II was thrilled with the text and awarded Gablits with honors and a diamond-studded snuffbox.