Symyrenko, Lev

Image - Lev Symyrenko and his children (Platon, Volodymyr, and Tetiana). Image - Apple: Platon Symyrenko's renet

Symyrenko, Lev [Симиренко, Лев], b 18 February 1855 in Mliiv, Cherkasy county, Kyiv gubernia, d 6 January 1920 in Mliiv. Pomologist of the Symyrenko family; son of Platon Symyrenko, father of Volodymyr Symyrenko. A graduate of Odesa University (1879), he was arrested for political activity and sentenced to eight years of exile in eastern Siberia. During the period 1879–87 he organized greenhouses, planted decorative and fruit-bearing trees, and established a civic park in Krasnoiarsk. After returning to Mliiv in 1887, he developed one of the largest collections of fruit trees in all of Europe on his property. The orchard included apples (900 varieties), pears (889), cherries (350), gooseberries (165), plums (84), walnuts (54), apricots (36), and peaches (15). He used the varieties for selection purposes and established an orcharding school. His major work was Pomolohiia (Pomology), which was not printed until 1961–3 (3 vols). Symyrenko was assassinated during the Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21, and his property was nationalized and turned into the Mliiv Orcharding Research Station. He was ‘rehabilitated’ in the late 1950s.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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