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Throughout history, plants of all kinds made the complicated and dangerous journey between Asia and Europe by way of caravans that transported silks and other treasures. Many varieties of these plants still survive in the wilds of the Central Asian mountains includ- ing beautiful native foxtail lilies (Eremus) and tulips (Tulipa).

Roses, iris, lilacs, tulips as well as apples, apricots and walnuts evolved in these mighty mountains and made their way along the Silk Road to gardens and farms across the globe. Unknown secrets reside in the DNA of the plants. Perhaps one day scientists will discover that these hardy plants hold clues to disease resistance or climate tolerance for farms and gardens of the future.

 

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