Many members of the group correctly named this flower. This is a tuberous nightshade, better known as potatoes. Baraboshki, Bulba, Kartoplya, Karfety, Kokonya, Parfenka, Earth apples, Gordzola, Mazurki, these are the popular names of this vegetable can be learned from the dictionary of Nikolai Annenkov.

The scientific name – Solanum tuberosum L. – was given to this plant by Carl Linnaeus. But he used the works of his predecessor, the Swiss botanist Kaspar Baugin, who described Solanum tuberosum in 1596. In 1601, the French-Dutch botanist Karl Clusius in his book calls the potatoes – “Arachidna Theophrastii forte, Papas peruanorum” (Theophrastus’ peanut, perhaps Peruvian Papas). Initially in Europe, potatoes were used as food only by the Spaniards, who brought this plant from South America. In other countries, potatoes were grown in botanical gardens as a curious plant. But soon the potato became the most widespread vegetable crop in Europe.

The first potato tubers reach Russia in the time of Peter the Great. But in the first half of the 18th century, potatoes did not become a widespread agricultural crop. In some places it was grown, but as a garden crop in small quantities. The second attempt to introduce potatoes in Russia was made by Catherine II. Russian botanist Andrey Bolotov did a lot to popularize potatoes. But only in the time of Nicholas I, potatoes finally began to be massively grown in the country’s fields.

Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine our cuisine without this vegetable. And once the ladies decorated their hairstyles with potato flowers.

Enjoy your walks in the gardens of the Russian Museum. Be sure to visit the Red Garden Bosquet in the Summer Garden.

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