‘Plant library’ in Istanbul hosts some 37,000 species

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Dubbed as the “Plant Library of Turkey,” the Forestry Faculty of Istanbul University, located in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district, hosts some 37,000 plant species found in the country’s rich flora.

“There are plant samples here in the ‘plant library’ that have been collected since the 1950s,” Ünal Akkemik, an academic from the university, told Demirören News Agency on April 20.

“However, most of the samples are from the 1960s,” he added.

Stating that the complex is the country’s first herbarium, Akkemik said that “all the samples are kept locked in steel cabinets.”

Apart from the plant species, there is also a collection of some 7,000 fossils inside the “plant library.”

The collection consists of some wood samples dating back to 160 million years and some leaf samples that are 23 million years old.

“Most of the fossils were found in the western part of Turkey,” Akkemik said.

When asked about the importance of herbariums, Akkemik said, “Due to the collection, we can see which plant grew and still grows in which part of the country.”

However, sometimes problems occur in nature, leading to the extinction of some species in Turkey, he noted, adding “at that time, these records in our herbarium show us the flora of the country.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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