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Iran supports some 7.000 plant species, of which about 20% are endemics. Most endemics are founded in mountains; centers of endemism include the peaks of the Alborz massifs, solitary peaks in the central plain, the mountain ridges south of Kashan and Yazd, and to the north and south of Kerman. The central plateau is species-poor. Lying as a bridge between four major plants geographical regions (Irano-Turanian, Euro-Siberian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian), Iran is one of the largest speciation centers of Holarctic desert flora, with Irano-Turanian plants predominating.

Approximately 60% of the country is classified as desert and semi-desert. Hot desert in the south–east supports sparese open scrub of Acacai, Zizphus and Prosopis on rocky slops; there are herbaceous communities with Atriplex and Heliotroium in sandy depressions, and steppes and deserts with Artemisia and Astragalus occur over most of the center and east of the country. There are up to 3.75 million ha of woodland, with dry, deciduous forests in the west, Pistacia-Amygdalus steppe forest in the south and west, Juniperus steppe woodland in the north, and broad-leaved temperate forest with Alnus, Quercus, fagus and Carpinus in the north up to 2.500 m, as well as c.8.900 ha of Avicennia mangrove along the Gulf coast. Between 1967 and 1980, 12.000 ha of forest plantation had been established and almost 70.000 ha of desert lands planted or seeded. Up to 11.5% of the land area is under cultivation, although more than half of the country is classified as uncultivable.

Botany Tour / Collecting and Observations

18 days - 17 nights

Tour Code: PGT 130

Day 1

Arrival Tehran, Transfer to Hotel, P.M. city tour of Tehran.

O/N Hotel.

Day 2

Hike in canyon north of Tehran with collecting opportunities.

O/N Hotel.

Day 3

Field trip to Alamut area of Alborz Mountains with opportunities for collecting and observations of traditional agricultural practices.

O/N Local House.

Day 4

All-day return from Alamut area, late at night flight to Mashhad.

O/N Hotel.

Day 5

Travel to Neishabour for tourist site with some collecting opportunities en route.

O/N Hotel.

Day 6

Field trip to wild pistachio grove overlooking Turkmenistan border with collecting opportunities en route, evening tour of AQR Central Library and museum.

O/N Hotel.

Day 7

All-day drive from Mashhad to Bobalsar with brief stops for botanizes en route.

O/N Hotel

Day 8

Field trip to Hyrcanian forest, with significant bryophyte collecting.

O/N Hotel.

Day 9

Field trip to Miankaleh Wildlife Refuge on Caspian Sea.

O/N Hotel.

Day 10

Drive from Babolsar to Tehran with collecting opportunities in high Alborz Mountains.

O/N Hotel.

Day 11

Recuperation and personal business in Tehran.

O/N Hotel.

Day 12

Fly to Tabriz, field trip to Kavandan (geologically significant village) with limited collecting opportunities.

O/N Hotel.

Day 13

Morning, tour of herbarium and introduction to Flora of Azerbaijan Province project, afternoon, fly to Esfahan, visit tourist sites.

O/N Hotel.

Day 14

Primarily personal time, but including 1hour tour of natural history museum with botanical display, evening flight to Shiraz.

O/N Hotel.

Day 15

Tour of herbarium and natural history collections, brief tour of Eram Botanical Garden,
afternoon, visit tourist sites including Persepolis.

O/N Hotel.

Day 16

All-day field trip to Bakhtegan Lake to look for Hypericopis, evening flight to Tehran.

O/N Hotel.

Day 17

Personal business in Tehran.

Day 18

Morning: visit Research Institute of Forest & Rangelands (between Tehran and Karaj), meet with research staff of botany division, introduction to Flora of Iran project, tour herbarium, tour botanical garden, afternoon: personal business, late at night departure to Destination.

Botany 1

Botany 2

Botany 3

Botany 4

Botany 5

Botany 6

Botany 7

Botany 8

Botany 9

Botany 10

Botany 11

Botany 12

Botany 13

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Zafron Flower

Pomegranate flowers
on sale in Estahban