The Success of Our Faculty Member: 'Keltepe Crocus' Was Recorded to Literature

İstanbul University Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology Associate Professor Dr. I. Sırrı Yüzbaşıoğlu discovered a new species of crocus during his researches in Kocaeli, Turkey. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yüzbaşıoğlu gave information about the endemic plant species known as ‘Keltepe Çiğdemi’ which was recorded to literature.

"In Keltepe (now known as Kartepe) the first crocus samples were collected in 1974 by Asuman Baytop and Ertan Tuzlacı and kept in the Herbarium of the Faculty of Pharmacy". Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yüzbaşıoğlu said: " Here collected specimens of the genus Crocus was seen by B. Matthew, who recorded the crocus to the flora of Turkey. Then, it was evaluated by Matthew, as crocus biflorus Miller subsp.pulchricolor (Herbert) Matthew. And it was considered to be an endemic taxon, spreading around Bursa, Kocaeli, Bolu and Ankara.

Associate Prof. Dr. Yüzbaşıoğlu made the following explanation: "Ibrahim Sözen, an amateur crocus enthusiast, attracted my attention on the Keltepe population. I would like to thank him one more time here. Within the scope of the study, I did field studies in order to study the live populations of especially Keltepe, Uludag, Bolu and Ankara, which were thought to be the same species before. I have also done morphological studies on specimens previously collected from these regions and preserved in herbariums. As a result, Keltepe population is different from others, in tunica structure, flower color, leaf width and especially seed color and shape. Revealing these differences, I announced 'crocus keltepensis' to the world of science as a new species”.

“Many Plant Enthusiasts Visit Our Country"

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yüzbaşıoğlu stated that social media sharing creates a certain awareness. He said: "We know that many plant-enthusiast foreigners come to our country from abroad. In certain periods in our country, especially in order to see the bulbous plants in the field, photograph tours are organized and interest in these tours is increasing day by day. The number of these plant enthusiasts in our country has been increasing rapidly in recent years, too. Crocus, snowdrop, orchid enthusiasts do field work in the spring months, creating an awareness by sharing the photographs that they took on social media. I am sure that 'Keltepe Çiğdemi' will have a large share in the recognition of our country and especially of Kocaeli. I am sure that Kocaeli Municipality will keep this value with good publicity and public information”.

“Our Country Is the Richest Country in the World in terms of Crocus Species”

"Saffron is also a species of Crocus (Crocus sativus) and many scientific studies have been done on it. On the other hand, our country is the richest country in the World in terms of crocus species". Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sırrı Yüzbaşıoğlu said: "Our country's location, climatic and geomorphological features are factors which show that it has a rich and interesting flora. The fact that about a third of Turkey's flora is endemic shows how great our wealth is, but it also reveals how difficult our job is to preserve this wealth. The greatest task of conservation will undoubtedly fall to the local governments that hold this wealth. I am sure that Kocaeli Municipality will take the necessary protection measures for Keltepe Çiğdemi both for the promotion and the sustainability”. Yüzbaşıoğlu concluded his speech with these words: "I have received the information that they have already started working on this subject (both for the promotion and the protection).”

“What Is Endemic Plant Species?”

Endemic means region-specific, growing only in a particular region, not in other regions. When people talk about endemic plant species, we understand that these plant species only spread in a specific region on earth. This region can be a country, or it can be any geographical region or province of that country. In the world, species which are spreading only in our country is endemic species for our country. Similarly, if a plant species spreads in only one province in the world or even in Turkey, it is endemic to that province. There are over 3000 endemic plants with narrow and widespread in our country.

News: Yasemin DURMAZ
Translation: Yasemin UGURLU
İU Corporate Communication Department

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