400 species of local plants!
Beside the park area of the Polar-Alpine Botanical
Garden is a protected area; a form of a natures reserve.
The vegetation of all altitudinal belts of Khibiny
Mountains is preserved within the area of 1.250 ha (out
of 1.670 ha). There are special nurseries of local flora
in the gardens. One can see more than 400 species of
local plants growing in our region (Murmansk Oblast).
These are tree species like small birches and crawling dwarf
coastal, tundra, and bog species.
The forests and mountains around Kirovsk are a nice
place for wild animals to live. Hairs, foxes, squirrels,
martens and even bears are usual
habitants of that area. Of course, they are very careful
and it is very difficult to see them. But, for example,
last summer one bear came directly to the main avenue of
the Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden and was walking there without
hurrying up while all employees were hiding themselves.
But mostly this animal is very cautious and only what we
can see is heaps of his excrements. A lot of birds as
ptarmigan, heath-cock, capercaillie, Siberian jay and
many others live there.
Worlds northernmost and oldest Polar-Alpine Botanical
on the Kola Peninsula in Northwest
The Polar-Alpine Botanical Gardens-Institute is situated 7 km from Kirovsk on the
slope of Khibiny Mountains and founded on 26th of
Here you may get not only acquainted with the local flora but also with trees
and plants which are not peculiar to the Kola Peninsula area. Sometimes it is really wander to see inhabitants of
the South parts of the country growing and feeling very comfortable in the
northern severe circumstances! You will walk surrounded by blossoming plants and among beds of flowers along the
paths of the unusual place. In additional you will see a piece of real jungle under a glass roof. Unique peculiarity of this
place is that these tropical plants have to survive in our region in Summer when there is no darkness at night.
The Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden has a special ecological path leading to the top of a mountain and you can and watch
how types of plants are changing passing the five different zones.
1. The foothills.
It is typical of this zone to have spruce, pine and birch forest; moss and motley grass are spread in
topsoil. This zone ends in the middle of the slope.
2. The mountain and forest zone.
It consists of the same forest too, but the topsoil is berry bushy.
3. The curved birch zone.
These birches are not trees but some kind of bushes.
4. Mountain and tundra zone.
It has dwarf (Arctic) birch what is not more than 60 cm high and has small round leaves like one cent coins.
5. The stony tundra.
Here different lichens can grow, only.
To watch all this diversity of zones during one comparing short hike is only possible in Northern
countries and specially in this unique Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden.