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Winter Lilacs in St Petersburg

Belgorod State University's Dr Valery Tokhtar took a selection of our winter blooms along to the 4th annual 'February Lilac' Festival at the Russian Academy of Sciences Botanical Institute

The competition is organised by the International Lilac Society, the Peter the Great Botanical Garden, and the Perfumers Guild. This year the exhibition was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad. To mark this Sergei Aladin and Tatiana Polyakova unveiled three new species of lilac cultivated by members of the International Lilac Society's Russian branch, these were the 'Russian Lilac', the 'Olga Bergholz Lilac', and the ''Leningrad Calling' Lilac'.

Dr Tokhtar, who is the director of our Botanical Garden, gave a talk on the 'Belgorod Lilac' project, which was aired on Radio Petrograd. He was accompanied by Anna Gamurak of the Belgorod Regional Transport Department, who presented a project under way at the Battle of Kursk Museum in Prokhorovka, to create a Garden of Remembrance from lilacs for those who lost their lives in this immense battle.
The festival included presentations by scientists on the conservation and study of lilacs, the propagation of varieties by traditional and biotechnological methods, and ways to protect plants from diseases and pests. The event attracted scientists from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Germany, and featured presentations by researchers, curators and collectors from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Minsk, Ufa, Novosibirsk, and Oldenburg.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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