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Mikhailovsky Garden is open to visitors and, probably, many visitors paid attention to plants with huge white inflorescences similar to beards.
This is Aruncus dioicus (Walter) Fernald. The generic name this plant received from the Greek “arynkos”, which means goat beard. Initially, in 1753, Karl Linney attributed this plant to the genus Spirea and named Spirea aruncus L. Then, in 1768, the English botanist John Hill named it Ulmaria aruncus (L.) Hill. Further, the British and American botanist Thomas Walter calls this plant Actaea dioica Walter. And only in 1939, the American botanist Merritt Fernald gave this plant the modern scientific name Aruncus dioicus (Walter) Fernald. Imagine how difficult it is to compare the lists of plants grown in gardens in different centuries, if this plant has changed its name several times in 200 years. That’s only in pharmacopoeias it was always called “Barba caprea” – the beard of a goat. In the people this plant is called: Volzhanka, Clover, Spiked goat, Goat beard.
In European gardens, aruncus begin to grow as a medicinal and ornamental plant from the 20s of the XVII century. In Russia, Volzhanka was still grown in the gardens of Mikhail Alekseevich, but as an ornamental plant they begin to use it in landscape gardens to decorate flower beds located far away. Because the plant is tall, with large peduncles and inflorescences.
Walking around the Mikhailovsky Garden, stop on the Rossi bridge and look at the flower garden near the fence along Sadovaya Street. And you will see all the beauty of Volzhanka.
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