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18. Tulipa nitida

Very few plants can survive in the desolate foothills of the Gissar Mountains, which run east to west across Tajikistan and southeastern Uzbekistan. T. nitida is one. It grows in red soil at an elevation of 1,500m/5,000ft. In addition to drought and huge temperature extremes, it has to put up with wild donkeys, which love to nibble on it.

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