Donetsk, Mar 24 – DAN. Red Book flowers have started blooming in the DPR Khomutovskaya Steppe – Meotida Natural Reserve, the state committee on ecology and natural resources said.

"Primroses are in bloom in the Khomutovskaya Steppe, harbingers of spring - Crocus reticulatus and Adonis wolgensis."

Crocus reticulatus is a smallish flower on a thin stalk, displaying a wide range of colors , from pale blue, almost white, to intense blue. It is present in Central Europe, Mediterranean, Anatolia, Crimea and Caucasia, its wild habitat is dryish grassy or rocky slopes and thin woodland.

Adonis wolgensis shares almost the same geographical distribution, though a bit wider and is characterized by yellow, oblong petals. It grows in middle and upper mountain belts, at the altitude of 1500–2300 meters above sea level, in mountain steppes.

In December, an African baobab tree has successfully acclimatized in the Donetsk Republican Botanical Garden and started growing.

The Khomutovskaya Steppe natural reserve is located in the Novoazovsk region of the DPR, its protected biosphere area constitutes 50 percent of the DPR total reserve lands. Khomutovskaya Steppe covers more than 18,000 ha, 7,746 of them are in the Azov seawaters. It contains more than 600 varieties of steppe plants including rare and endemic plants; dozens of mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish species live there, as well as 1,500 insect species. *ot