Plants & Nations: Azerbaijan
By Ding Qian
["china"]
A place where Iranian tea and vodka are sold together in Arab cafes and modern-styled buildings stand next to ancient sites, Azerbaijan is a product of its intriguing history and geographic location. 
Azerbaijan is a blend of West and East. /VCG Photo

Azerbaijan is a blend of West and East. /VCG Photo

The nature in Azerbaijan is also astonishing. The country is called the "land of fire," a reference to the numerous number of spontaneous fires caused by underground gas that's burned since ancient times. You can find these eternal fires in Yanar Bulag, Yunar Dag and other places. Additionally, Azerbaijan has nine out of 11 major climatic types of the Earth, which result in diverse flora that consists of more than 4,100 plant species.
Azerbaijan is called "land of fire." /VCG Photo

Azerbaijan is called "land of fire." /VCG Photo

Beautiful forest in Azerbaijan. /VCG Photo

Beautiful forest in Azerbaijan. /VCG Photo

In this article, we explore some marvelous plants grown on this land of fire.

Persian silk tree

Flower of Persian silk tree. /VCG Photo

Flower of Persian silk tree. /VCG Photo

The tree, whose leaves close during the night, is native to southwestern and eastern Asia, including Azerbaijan, Iran, and China.
Leaf of Persian silk tree. /VCG Photo

Leaf of Persian silk tree. /VCG Photo

It's usually planted in semi-arid areas because of its tolerance to droughts. The flowers are sweet-scented, attract honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The fruit is a flat pod containing seeds. The tree can generally live for 10 to 20 years.
Persian silk tree. /VCG Photo

Persian silk tree. /VCG Photo

Persian ironwood tree

Persian ironwood tree. /VCG Photo

Persian ironwood tree. /VCG Photo

This critically endangered tree is native to southern Azerbaijan and northern Iran. It is one of the most notable relict tree species in the Hyrcanian Forests, an important habitat rich in relic and endemic plant species.
Persian ironwood tree and a robin.  /VCG Photo

Persian ironwood tree and a robin.  /VCG Photo

Persian ironwood tree can grow to 30 meters high. It is often planted for its ornamental value since its leaves turn to a beautiful brilliant red color in autumn. During this season, green, yellow, orange and red appear at the same time, which makes the tree glamorous.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate tree. /VCG Photo

Pomegranate tree. /VCG Photo

We all know pomegranate, but do you know that Azerbaijan is the only country where all varieties of pomegranates grow? The red fruit has a special status in the country where it's called the king of fruits.There is even an annual festival dedicated to it, the Pomegranate Festival in Goychay region, Azerbaijan.
Production of pomegranate means a lot to the economy of Azerbaijan since around 40,000 tons of the fruit is transported to the world every year from the country.
Pomegranate flower. /VCG Photo

Pomegranate flower. /VCG Photo

In Azerbaijan, there is a popular sauce to complement meat and fish dishes, called narsharab, which is made from the juice of pomegranate. 

About 'Plants & Nations' 

"Plants & Nations" is a series of articles and pictures about common plants in the world. It serves as a guide to beautiful plants from different countries. 
For more articles of the series, you can check:
(Top image via VCG)
(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at nature@cgtn.com.)