The time in North Cyprus is

North Cyprus Herbarium,

Alevkayasi, Near Kyrenia, North Cyprus

It must be said from the start, that the North Cyprus Herbarium is less of a "Tourist Attraction", and more of a research establishment. It is located at the Alevkayasi Forest  Station on the Kyrenia mountain ridge, just 100m or so from the Sourp Magor monastery.

North Cyprus Herbarium at Alevkaya forest station
North Cyprus Herbarium

During British colonial times, a large herbarium was built up in Nicosia, but after 1974, this became inaccessible from the north.

To help fill this gap, in 1989 resident English botanist, Dr Deryck Viney in cooperation with the forestry department opened this herbarium. Initially housing Dr Viney's personal collection, it has now expanded to include examples of nearly all the 1250 native plant species.

Inside the herbarium, the collection is in several broad areas:-

Pressed plant specimens. This utilises the centuries-old method of pressing plants between sheets of absorbent paper until dry. Most of the pressed plants show roots, buds and fruit as well as leaves and flowers.

Spirit collection. Where pressing is not suitable (particularly with orchids), a method of preservation developed at Kew has been used. This involves preserving the flowers in a mixture of alcohol, glycerol and formaldehyde.

Drawings. The herbarium has a collection of around 750 line drawings by Dr Viney

Photographs. The herbarium has a collection of photographs of 17 plants endemic to North Cyprus, and photographs of the oldest and largest trees.

Although a specialist research centre, the herbarium is for anyone (to quote Dr Viney) "who visits this country with open eyes - or was born to share, and protect, its natural heritage."



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