The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture, No. 6
BOTANIC GARDEN PROFILE
T H E BA LK A N BOTA N IC GA R DEN OF K ROUSSIA, NORT H E R N
GR EEC E: A GA R DE N DEDICAT ED T O T H E CONSE RVATION OF
THE NATIVE PLANTS OF GREECE AND THE BALKANS
& Nikos Krigas
In this paper the prole of the Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia (BBGK) is outlined and basic
illustrations are provided. Τhe location, establishment, facilities, organization and staff of BBGK,
as well as the topography, soils and climate of its grounds, are presented. The plant conser-
vation targets and policies formulated by BBGK in order to full its mission are also described.
This includes eight different complementary policies. These are the Only Native Plants Policy,
Important Plant Species (IPS) Policy, Explicit Plant Documentation Policy, Propagation of the IPS
First Policy, DNA Barcoding Policy, Combined ex situ and in situ Conservation Policy, Evaluation
for Sustainable Exploitation Policy and the Environmental Awareness on Native Plants Policy. The
living native plant collections of the BBGK are presented quantitatively and the number of plant
sections and displays designed in the BBGK and in the newly established Garden of Environmental
Awareness are described. BBGK’s mission is to support research, maintenance, propagation, evalu-
ation, conservation and sustainable use of the native plants of Greece and the Balkans, combined
with raising public awareness of the environment.
LOCATION, ESTABLISHMENT, FACILITIES, ORGANIZATION AND STAFF
The Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia (BBGK), Greece was funded in the framework
of the Inter-Regional Developmental Initiatives of the European Union (INTERREG
II-External Borders). The BBGK was founded on 19 May 2001 as an initiative of the
National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF).
The BBGK is situated in northern Greece (Figs. 1, 2), about 70km from Thessaloniki
(the second biggest Greek city), near the mountain village of Pontokerasia in the
Prefecture of Kilkis (41°05ʹN/23°06ʹE). It is located close to the borderlines of Greece,
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria, lying between
two important conservation areas included in the Natura 2000 Network, Lake Kerkini
and surrounding mountains (GR1260001: Limni Kerkini-Krousia-Koryfes orous beles,
Agistro-Charopo) and the Mouries hydrophilous lake forest (GR1230002: Ydrochares
Dasos Mourion). The BBGK has been developed within a deciduous oak forest (Quercus
Eleni Maloupa is Director and Curator of the Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia.
Address: Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia-Laboratory for the Evaluation and Conservation of Native and Floricultural
Species, National Agricultural Research Foundation, P.O. Box 60125, Thessaloniki, GR-57001, Greece.
Nikos Krigas is a Biologist and Plant Taxonomist.
Address: Laboratory of Systematic Botany and Phytogeography, Department of Botany, School of Biology, Aristotle
University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124, Greece.
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10 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
pubescens and Q. frainetto) that has been traditionally managed for a long time, at an
altitude of 600m (Mount Mavrovouni, Kroussia Mountain Range). Today it covers an
area of 31ha which is dedicated to the combined ex situ and in situ conservation of native
plants of Greece and the Balkans (15ha and 16ha, respectively), as well as to raising the
environmental awareness of, and educating, the public.
The BBGK is open for visitors throughout the year (Figs. 1, 2). Since its estab-
lishment in 2001, there has been a continuous increase in visitor numbers and to date
the BBGK receives about 10,000 visitors per year, of which 40% are schoolchildren,
students or teachers.
The facilities for visitors include:
a connection with the road network
peripheral forest roads
two parking areas
wooden tables and benches
a botanic greenhouse
articial lakes and waterfall
bilingual signage for the thematic displays
well-dened paths and steps in the wooded area.
Art-works are also displayed in the garden and leaets and descriptive maps in English
and Greek are provided for self-guided tours around the area.
The BBGK’s symbol-plant is Fritillaria pontica (Fig. 1) due to the wild populations
discovered in the grounds of BBGK. This plant has been adopted as a symbol for its
recognized ornamental value, its restricted general distribution area (Balkan countries
and northern Turkey), its uncommon occurrence in Greece and its protection by the
Greek Presidential Decree 67/81; these are properties that may illustrate the targets and
policies of the BBGK.
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Since the beginning, the BBGK has been continuously supported by a well-equipped
nursery and laboratory facilities of 10ha located at sea level, in Thermi, metro-
politan Thessaloniki – Laboratory for the Conservation and Evaluation of Native
and Floricultural Species (LabCENFS, NAGREF). LabCENFS includes a nursery
complex with six indoor computer controlled greenhouses of 150m
each (with mist
propagation, hydroponics, production areas, oating irrigation/hydroponic systems),
extensive open-air mother plantations with irrigation system and seasonal shading, cold
frame areas, compost areas, pilot experimental elds, seed bank, growth chambers,
herbarium, laboratories for tissue culture, plant physiology, molecular biology, soil
analysis, quantitative and qualitative analysis of essential oils, library, reception hall,
foyer, ofces, and parking areas.
The BBGK-LabCENFS (abbreviated to BBGK) are supported by a head researcher,
3 Postdoctoral researchers, 7 scientists, 6 horticulturists, 2 technicians and 8 labourers.
Unfortunately, almost half of them still work under short term contracts.
Fig. 1 Information Centre and guest house in the Garden of the Senses of the Balkan Botanic Garden of
Kroussia (BBGK) along with its logo plant (Fritillaria pontica). Photo: BBGK archives.
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12 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
TOPOGRAPHY, SOILS AND CLIMATE
The relief within the BBGK rises from 620m at the car park (Fig. 2) to 520m at its
highest point in the south-west corner. From the north-east entrance the ground rises
gently along a central axis of 5–10m wide, forming relatively at hills and gradually
dropping down towards the south-west and south-east corners. This results in varying
soil depths ranging from 100–300mm along the central axis to 700–1,500mm on the
slopes. Natural watercourses appear seasonally, ending in two semi-natural ponds. From
the ponds the water can be directed towards a water reservoir of c. 50,000m
at the lowest
point in the south-east. These gentle slopes afford varying aspects, exposures and micro-
climates, providing a range of suitable locations for planting.
The substrate of the BBGK is composed mainly of schist and gneiss, and amphi-
bolites in the south. The soil within the BBGK comprises a shallow stony loam with
the stone size ranging from gravel to boulders of medium size and with several pockets
of rich soils along stream sides and around ponds. Generally the BBGK’s soils can be
classied as Mollisols and Entisols (Inceptisols and Alsols), with a pH ranging from
6.5 to 7.
The relatively high altitude of the BBGK in northern Greece (near the borderline
with FYROM and Bulgaria) and its location in the south-west relief of Mt Mavrovouni
(Kroussia Mountains) results in a sub-mediterranean climate with a relatively strong
continental inuence. This is also illustrated by the absence of many typical evergreen-
Fig. 2 Rough sketch and location of the BBGK in northern Greece. For thematic plant displays see Table 1.
Photo: BBGK archives.
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deciduous plant species in the area which are dominant in other lowland and coastal
regions of the Mediterranean. Relatively warm dry summers with mean temperatures
reaching 22.7 °C in July are common, as well as relatively cool dry winters with mean air
temperatures falling below 3.2 °C in February (the mean temperature range is 19.5 °C).
In some years late winter frosts can cause considerable damage not only to owers but to
plant growth as well.
Rainfall is more common in spring and autumn, ranging from 53mm in May and
50mm in October down to 27.5mm in July. The dry warm period lasts from mid-July
to the end of September, with a break in August. Natural water is easily available from
November to April, and then gradually starts to decrease. By the end of July it becomes
completely absent and starts gradually increasing again in August.
N E C E S SI T Y F OR T H E E STA BL I SH M E N T O F BB GK , M I SS IO N, TA RG ET S A N D
Plant diversity in Greece and the Balkans is exceptionally rich and unique, presenting
a higher degree of endemism in relation to surface than any other comparable area of
Europe or the Mediterranean region. About 60% of the endemic plants of the European
continent are restricted to the Balkans. Greece, with at least 5,700 native plant species
and subspecies (Phitos et al., 1995; Strid & Tan, 1997), is one of the oristically
richest areas of Europe, hosting 45–50% of the total European native ora (Akeroyd &
Heywood, 1994) and about 80% of the Balkan ora (Polunin, 1980). About 15–20% of
the plant taxa (species and subspecies) found in Greece are unique, found nowhere else
in the world (Greek endemics), and therefore the country is considered to be among the
most valuable regions for plant conservation in Europe and the Mediterranean (Akeroyd
& Heywood, 1994).
The uniqueness and rarity of the Greek and the Balkan ora demands effective
conservation efforts as it is under increasing threat from climatic change, res, land
reclamation, over-grazing and urban and tourist development. With these threats to the
region’s vegetation the BBGK has formulated a conservation strategy (Maloupa et al.,
2008) and has adopted the Mission Statement to “support research, maintenance, propa-
gation, evaluation, conservation and sustainable use of the native plants of Greece and
the Balkans, combined with raising the environmental awareness of the public”.
Since its establishment the BBGK has been focused on the conservation and the
sustainable use of native plants of Greece and the Balkans (‘Only Native Plants’ Policy),
leaving aside the exotic and ornamental plants. All plant displays in BBGK have been
created using plant material originating in the wild that has been sustainably managed.
All mother plant material in conservation is obtained with explicit and precise
information regarding its collection in the wild such as geographical coordinates and
site description, specic location, region, prefecture, and country. No accession number
is given to plant collections arriving with poor documentation and no subsequent
propagation is carried out. Habitat information is also collected for each individual
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14 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
plant collected from the wild (substrate, soil type, forest zone, habitat type, slope and
altitude). This information is valuable and necessary for future ex situ conservation
activities (Krigas et al., 2007a). All these site and habitat characteristics are documented
on special collection forms in situ. They accompany each accession number throughout
its subsequent propagation. The document describing these standards of data collection
is the ‘Explicit Plant Documentation’ Policy.
BBGK appreciates that there is a need to reveal the genetic identity of different
accession numbers for many reasons, such as uniqueness of specimens from different
native plant populations originating in different phytogeographical regions, possible
sustainable exploitation of selected accessions, accurate plant documentation, and
copyright. This is covered in BBGK’s ‘DNA Barcoding’ Policy. Therefore a molecular
DNA-based procedure has been adopted in the laboratories of BBGK using the nrDNA
ITS1 and ITS2 molecular markers (Tsoktouridis et al., 2007; Maloupa et al., 2008).
Not all of the Greek and Balkan native ora is a prime priority of BBGK. Taking into
account the International Agenda of Botanic Gardens in Conservation (Wyse-Jackson &
Sutherland, 2000), ve principal plant categories have been targeted for initial action and
these are identied in the ‘Important Plant Species (IPS)’ Policy:
(i) Greek endemic plants (plant species found exclusively in Greece and nowhere
else in the world), including:
(a) Single-island endemics such as Origanum dictamnus, Campanula
hierapetrae, Anchusa samothracica, Viola cephalonica;
(b) Single-mountain endemics such as Helichrysum sibthorpii, Anthemis
sibthorpii, Thymus plasonii, Achillea occulta, Centaurea cithaeronea;
(c) Single-area narrow endemics such as Limonium antipaxorum, L. ithacense,
(d) Regional endemics (restricted to few phytogeographical regions of Greece)
such as Crocus hadriaticus subsp. hadriaticus, Scaligeria moreana, Stachys
ionica, Campanula incurva (Fig. 3), and
(e) National endemics (restricted to numerous phytogeographical regions of
Greece) such as Anchusella variegata, Cerastium candissimum, Dianthus
(ii) Balkan endemics of narrow distribution: This category includes native plants
occurring around the boundaries of Greece with neighbouring Balkan countries
and/or Turkey such as Lilium rhodopaeum, Centaurea pawlowskii (Fig. 3),
Marrubium thessalum, Stachys iva.
(iii) Other rare plant taxa found in Greece: This category includes native plant
species of wider distribution than (i), (ii) or (iv) with one or only a few scattered
populations in Greece such as Poa molinieri, Datisca canabina, Galanthus
nivalis, Dianthus crinitus (Fig. 3).
(iv) Balkan (sub-) endemics: This category includes plant taxa found exclusively
in the Balkan countries and/or extending to western Turkey and/or parts of Italy
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T H E BA L K A N B OTA N I C G A R D E N O F K R O U S S I A , N O R T H E R N G R E E C E 15
with scattered populations such as Dianthus giganteus, Hypericum olympicum,
Scabiosa crenata subsp. dellaportae, Thymus thracicus (Fig. 3).
(v) Potentially ornamental and/or medicinal plants native to Greece and/or the
Balkans such as Geranium macrorrhizum, Coridothymus capitatus, Digitalis
grandiora, Salvia ofcinalis, Crataegus monogyna.
Plant propagation in the BBGK follows the conservation prioritization contained in the
‘Propagation of the IPS First’ Policy. All propagation and ex situ cultivation efforts of
the BBGK aim at developing species-specic propagation and cultivation protocols that
can be used for the sustainable exploitation of IPS and possibly for future reintroduc-
tions of IPS in the wild.
Fig. 3 Conservation Important Plant Species (IPS) in the BBGK: local Balkan endemics Thymus thracicus
(top left) and Centaurea pawlowskii (top right), rare Greek endemic Campanula incurva (bottom left) and rare
in Greece Dianthus crinitus (bottom right). All photos: BBGK archives except bottom left: Yannis Syllignakis.
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16 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
In an attempt to decrease transplantation shock and increase cultivation and propa-
gation success, all IPS are maintained in experimental ex situ elds and/or in pots in
the fully equipped and extensive mother plantations and nurseries of BBGK under ideal
conditions which are as similar as feasibly possible to the wild habitat of each taxon
studied (Maloupa et al., 2003; Krigas et al., 2007a; Mouis et al., 2007).
Each mother plant collected from the natural environment is treated as a clone; it
is asexually propagated if possible and considered to be the fundamental propagation
material for the reproduction of the IPS. Emphasis is also given to the hygienic state of
the mother plants and all the initial propagation material obtained from mother plants
is treated with exceptional care. In vitro production of elite pre-basic material has been
developed for IPS that could not adjust and grow in the conditions found in the nursery,
for IPS that it has not been possible to propagate using conventional methods or for the
massive reproduction of socio-economically valuable plants.
It is a target of BBGK not only to contribute to the ex situ conservation of the IPS of
Greece and the Balkans but also to raise the public’s environmental awareness of their
native plants by organizing activities and projects for citizens and schools. This is detailed
in the ‘Environmental Awareness on Native Plants’ Policy (Krigas et al., 2007b).
In the context of the global efforts to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond,
emphasis is also given to the creation of a link between the ex situ and the in situ conser-
vation actions regarding the IPS of Greece and the Balkans (‘Combined ex situ and in
situ Conservation’ Policy). Consideration has also been given by adjusting BBGK’s
individual conservation actions in light of the targets of the Global Strategy for Plant
Conservation (GSPC, 2002) and the European Plant Conservation Strategy (EPCS,
During the last 5 years, BBGK has undertaken efforts in order to contribute to
the implementation of targets 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 16 of the GSPC and EPCS at
local, national, regional and international levels (Maloupa & Krigas, 2007). These
efforts include: population monitoring of IPS in the wild, investigation into the genetic
variability of endemic Crocus spp. and socio-economically valuable cultivated saffron,
monitoring of invasive aliens, pilot labelling of plant populations in the wild, trans-
planting of protected plants into safer areas, development of IPS-specic propagation
and cultivation protocols aiming at future reintroduction into the wild, actions regarding
the raising of environmental awareness on native biodiversity issues, efforts towards
the establishment of new botanic gardens dedicated to plant conservation across the
different phytogeographic regions of Greece, inuencing policy and holding meetings
with institutions and stakeholders involved or interested in plant conservation. All these
activities are contained within BBGK’s ‘Environmental Awareness on Native Plants’
policy (Maloupa et al., 2007a; Krigas et al., 2007b). Nowadays, BBGK is an active
member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the International Plant
Exchange Network (IPEN) and the Planta Europa Steering Committee. It aims to lead
the effort towards the establishment of an ofcial network of Greek botanic gardens that
are dedicated to native plant conservation.
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T H E BA L K A N B OTA N I C G A R D E N O F K R O U S S I A , N O R T H E R N G R E E C E 17
Botanic gardens play a key role in ensuring that plant resources are not only
conserved but are also used sustainably for the benet of all people, in order to improve
human well-being (Wyse-Jackson & Sutherland, 2000; GSPC, 2002). Currently, wild
populations of several plants (e.g. Sideritis spp., Salvia spp., Cistus spp., Paeonia spp.,
etc.) in several areas of Greece and the Balkans suffer from extensive, uncontrolled and
heavy collections made both by local inhabitants for personal use and by foreign people
trading in herbs and medicinal plants; however, such actions are internationally deplored
(IUCN Threatened Plants Committee Secretariat, 1982).
With this in mind, the BBGK has undertaken initiatives and has developed a strategy
for the sustainable exploitation of the native IPS – the ‘Evaluation for Sustainable
Exploitation’ Policy. This includes the maintenance of extensive mother plantations,
development of protocols for large-scale propagation and cultivation, evaluation of the
market potential of native IPS prior to commercialization, estimation of the market
potential for possible introduction of new products in ornamental oriculture and horti-
culture, cosmetology, pharmaceuticals, food avourings (such as herbs and spices), and
landscaping. It also includes information on studying the market, production procedures,
pilot contract agriculture practices, estimation of postharvest and transportation require-
ments, analysis of market economics and co-operation with private companies (Maloupa
et al., 2008).
THE LIVING PLANT COLLECTIONS
Every year BBGK organizes a series of botanical expeditions to all areas of the country
(which is divided into 13 phytogeographical regions) in order to obtain wild propagation
material from various native IPS (Fig. 4). With a special permit provided by the Ministry
of Agriculture which is renewed every year, the scientic staff of the BBGK are able
to collect plant material even from protected areas, Natura 2000 sites and the Nature
Reserves of Greece.
To date, at least 60 plant collecting expeditions have been organized (Fig. 4) and
more than 2,300 accessions of propagation material (Fig. 5) and > 1,300 specimens have
been collected from the wild. This equates to 1,200 taxa, which is > 20% of the Greek
ora. Accession numbers of plant material collected in the wild have been increasing
constantly since the establishment of BBGK and cultivation of this material has been
improved (Figs. 5, 6), with survival rates reaching 75% in 2007.
All native taxa collected in the wild are currently cultivated and maintained ex situ in
BBGK for different numbers of years (Figs. 5, 6). More than 70% of the IPS have been
in ex situ cultivation for more than one year (Figs. 5, 6). In total, about 40% of them
belong to target IPS categories (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), and approximately another 45%
belong to IPS category (v).
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18 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
Fig. 4 Collection areas of IPS: rare, endangered, vulnerable, protected and endemic taxa of Greece and/or
the Balkans currently in ex situ conservation at BBGK, northern Greece and distribution of the IPS collection
areas across the different phytogeographical regions of Greece (see Strid & Tan, 1997). Each dot on the map
shows the location of at least one botanical expedition and collection of at least one accession number of IPS.
The white circles show the location of the BBGK’s ex situ conservation sites. Photo: BBGK archives.
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All of the IPS have been or are currently subject to propagation research in the nursery
and laboratories of BBGK (Fig. 7). In total, 326 taxa of IPS belonging to IPS categories
(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) are maintained (176 taxa as stock mother plants and 150 taxa as
seeds preserved within controlled environments).
Fig. 5 Accession numbers of wild plant material collected and accession numbers of wild plant material in
cultivation in BBGK for the period 2002–2007.
Fig. 6 Accession numbers of conservation Important Plant Species (IPS) showing their period of ex situ
cultivation in BBGK.
In ex situ cultivation
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20 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
Fig. 7 Maintenance and propagation of native plants in the Laboratory for the Evaluation and Conservation
of Native and Floricultural Species, at Thermi, metropolitan Thessaloniki. Photos: Stelios Phillipou.
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T H E BA L K A N B OTA N I C G A R D E N O F K R O U S S I A , N O R T H E R N G R E E C E 21
Already, 45% of the IPS (139 taxa) have been successfully propagated and mass
species-specic multiplication protocols have been developed. Taking into account
their ornamental characteristics and/or aromatic-medicinal properties, these taxa could
possibly be considered as commercially valuable plants for sustainable cultivations
(Maloupa et al., 2008). Additionally, about 100 propagation and cultivation protocols
have already been developed for IPS target category (v) plants.
PLANT SECTIONS AND DISPLAYS
The BBGK is composed of two basic areas, the Garden of the Senses (Figs. 1, 2, 9) and
the main Conservation Area (Figs. 2, 8). Almost half of the BBGK’s territory is a natural
oak forest and at least 300 wild growing plant taxa (species and subspecies) thrive there
and their populations are being conserved along with their habitats (in situ conser-
vation, Figs. 2, 8). Different parts of the forest receive different management practices
(management for conversion from coppice to high forest, coppice management, high
forest management, recreational forest management or no management).
The different plant species that appear in the ex situ conservation area of BBGK
originate in the wild and they are organized into various thematic sections according to
their characteristics and properties for scientic, research and educational purposes. To
date 46 thematic sections and displays have been organized (Table 1, Figs. 8, 9). The
arrangement of the thematic sections serves educational purposes and aesthetic criteria
Aiming rst to promote to urban citizens environmental awareness issues regarding
native plant conservation and second in order to facilitate the maintenance of the increasing
mother plantations, the BBGK has recently established the Garden of Environmental
Awareness (GEA) in Thermi, metropolitan Thessaloniki area (at sea level, Fig. 10). This
garden comprises another 15 thematic sections and displays (Table 1). The majority
of botanic gardens present 2D graphic media for visualization and communication
purposes, as well as for the gardens’ own monitoring and management. GEA’s design
work has used all standard techniques from draft work to computer generated scaled
drawings and has even progressed to 3D modelling and rendering (Fig. 10). For the
rendering process of all scenic elements, digital images of hard materials and native
plant species from BBGK’s photographic records have been applied. Simulation of
lighting effects and digital control of model functionality have also been carried out
through different positioning of cameras and viewpoint settings.
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22 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
Garden of the Senses
BBGK’s main Conservation
Ornamental beds of native
Tree-lines Plants in mythology and tradition
Path of biodiversity Ancient medicinal plants
Perennial herbs In situ conservation
of wild orchids
Rare, endangered and endemic plants
Aromatic plants (various
Adventure trail Invasive alien plants
Water loving plants Conservation
in oak forest
Waterfall, Watercourse and
Recreational forest Vegetation zones of Greece
Bulbous plants Coppice forest Subalpine garden
Stone garden High forest Experimental elds
Rock garden Conversion from coppice to
Compost exhibition area
Information Centre Arboretum Compost heaps
Educational garden Fruticetum Green rooms
Scents and forms of thyme Meadow phytodiversity Greenhouse
Orchard Vegetation zones of Greece Open-air classroom
Articial lakes Reception hall
Which is the sage? Plants of high mountains /
(sub-) alpine plants
Formal landmark area
Hortus ofcinarum Conservation Important Plant
Are plants innocent? Ex situ plant
Laissez faire Medicinal garden and Human
Silver garden Botanic greenhouse and
Coastal garden Fruits of the forest
BBGK’s living acronym
Autumn and Winter garden
Table 1. Thematic sections and plant displays in the BBGK and the GEA.
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From a construction viewpoint, this model (Maloupa et al., 2007b, Fig. 10): (i) facilitates
monitoring of the progress of implementation works, (ii) allows for future readjust-
ments, (iii) enables the photorealistic representation of changes in scene elements and
oristic features through time and space, and (iv) controls human capacity and ow in
the 3D environment. From a promotion viewpoint, it can become an important tool for
virtual tours and printed guide maps, thus raising public environmental awareness. To
our knowledge, this is the rst time a model process has been used for the creation of a
botanic garden in Greece.
Fig. 8 Aspects of the main Conservation Area of the BBGK. Top: in situ conservation actions for wild orchids.
Middle: the path of biodiversity. Bottom: articial lakes and resting kiosk. Photos: Spyros Markogiannis.
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24 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
In this paper we have described the establishment and purpose of BBGK and outlined its
strategy and efforts in plant conservation. In the next few years we will be concentrating
on various projects which will include:
1. the enrichment of the BBGK ex situ collections of conservation important species;
2. the conservation of wild germplasm of socio-economically valuable plants;
3. the evaluation and sustainable exploitation of the phytogenetic resources of Greece,
4. the development of new small-scale botanic gardens that are dedicated to native
plant conservation across the different phytogeographic regions of the country.
Fig. 9 Views of the Garden of the Senses. Top: Water loving plants. Middle: Mediterranean aromatic plants.
Bottom: Scents and forms of thyme and Which is the sage? Photos: BBGK archives.
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T H E BA L K A N B OTA N I C G A R D E N O F K R O U S S I A , N O R T H E R N G R E E C E 25
We hope that our activities will have a signicant impact on plant species protection and
the public’s understanding of conservation issues in this botanically important region
AKEROYD, J.R. & HEYWOOD, V.H. (1994). Regional overview: Europe. Pp. 39–54 in:
Davis, S.D., Heywood, V.H., Hamilton, A.C. (eds), Centres of Plant Diversity: A Guide and
Strategy for Their Conservation, Vol. 1 (Europe, Africa, South West Asia and the Middle
Saponaria offici nalis
Glauci um flavum
Poa s pp.
Poa s pp.
Fig. 10 Photorealistic summer view of the vegetation zones (top) and in a green room (bottom) at the newly
established GEA in Thermi, metropolitan Thessaloniki. All specic view-materials shown (plant species,
pergolas, rocks and texture) have been extracted from the photo gallery of the BBGK (From Maloupa et al.,
RB18025 ch03.indd 25 3/11/08 09:45:35
26 ELENI MALOUPA & NIKOS KRIGAS
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