The plant kingdom is highly interesting, whether we look at it through the eyes of an expert – a botanist or just as an ordinary observer of Life around us … During observations, we can find some exceptional plants, new sites of species, and new species themselves. In botanical gardens, several plant species grow close together in a confined space. Here, some interesting hybrids can occur among related plants that only very rarely flourish in the same place in nature. One of such exceptional plant thrives in Juliana; it is called the Komna Gentian (Gentiana x laengstii nsubsp. komnensis). Only a single specimen of this rare natural hybrid was originally discovered on the Komna plateau in 1957 by Dr. Ernest Mayer (1920-2009). He assessed it to be a cross between a yellow-flowering Yellow Gentian and a bluish-purple Pannonian Gentian, both of which grew close by. So far, there has been no recent confirmation of hybrid cross-breeding in the natural environment. In 2008, however, the Komna Gentian suddenly appeared for the first time and bloomed also in Juliana, near the entrance to the garden. It is not known how the hybrid “came” into the garden, considering that the Pannonian Gentian had not bloomed in Juliana for a long time. In July 2020, the miraculous story was repeated yet again: the Komna Gentian bloomed again even more lushly and reigned with the special color of its flowers over the rest of the flowers.

Listen to the dwarf Zois


Concept: Klemen Završnik, Martina Tekavec
Text: Klemen Završnik
Photo: arhiv družine Bois de Chesne, Tone Wraber, Klemen Završnik
Drawings: Samo Jenčič (škrat Cojzek) in Carl Huck (Zlatorog)
Voice: Teja Malovrh Cigale
Reviewer: Špela Pungaršek
Language Editor: Henrik Ciglič
Sound editing: David Kunc

Slovenian Museum of Natural History, 2021

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