Saffron crocus – Istanbulensis, which had been named after the city it grows in and introduced to the world by an English scientist Brian Mathew in 1982 as a new crocus, has bloomed again.
Since it is an endemic and endangered flower and grown only in Istanbul, Istanbulensis has been spotted in the Aydos Woods situated within Sultanbeyli district borders. Istanbulensis appears towards the end of the February heralding the arrival of the spring by blooming in yellow.
Istanbulensis can only successfully flourish in the Aydos Woods area. This year in the Aydos Woods there are only 20-30 surviving roots.
Prof. Neriman Özhatay, an academician at the Pharmaceutical Botanical Major Science Department of Pharmacology Faculty of Istanbul University, remarked that the crocus flowers in Istanbul are cultivated in an insufficient numbers requiring a protection of this flower. She added saying, “In botanical terms this flower is very important because it has a narrow expansion trait and a very endemic one. It should definitely be protected, and to this end first its habitat should be maintained. Instead of locking them up in pots by its enthusiasts, its habitat should be attended and protected. The general public should be informed about its uniqueness in terms of its peculiarity to their region and its name given after Istanbul that makes this flower the only flower in Istanbul bearing the city’s name.”
Sultanbeyli Municipality on the other hand emphasized the fact that since 2008 the municipality has been using Istanbulensis as its logo, and it has been trying to raise the awareness of their district residents. Sultanbeyli Mayor Hüseyin Keskin noted the following: “We have designed our municipal logo using this flower which is grown only in this region and contains Istanbul in its Latin name. We have been continually checking with the roots of this flower in Aydos Woods. Unfortunately it blooms in a very few number. We aim at protecting this delicate Istanbulensis which is one of the harbingers of the spring by introducing it to the region’s people.”
Istanbulensis, grown exclusively in Istanbul in the world, has this year heralded the arrival of the spring in Aydos Woods. Istanbulensis has produced this year only 20-30 roots. Experts warn of the danger of this endemic plant going extinct.