Throughout history the Khevsuris have undergone several powerful processes of migration. As far back as the 4th century, when St. Nino sent the representatives of the Kartli Kingdom to the mountains with the purpose of converting the pagan population to Christianity, according to the chronicler, “…the Pkhovelni* abandoned their native land and moved to Tusheti”. That was a … Read more


In the Eastern Caucasus, on the southern and northern slopes of the Main Caucasus Watershed live the Khevsuris – an ancient Georgian nationality of extremely peculiar fate and character, whose dramatic mode of life, distinctive traditions have always been the subject of scientific research and the source of inspiration for writers and poets. Even some sixty years ago in Khevsureti … Read more

Fauna of Pshav-Khevsureti

There is a bird, whose voice is always heard in Pshavi and Khevsureti as well as in all the highest passes and peaks of Caucasus. This is Caucasian Snowcock- quite big (the size of a hen) and an almost invisible bird, whose whistle is one of the most common sounds of in the Caucasus. Still this bird is … Read more

Healing and Agricultural Plants

Pshav-Khevsureti has a long history of natural medical practices. This is due to the isolation of the region and difficulty when importing medicine. Therefore, local dwellers specialized in the use of herbs and other natural resources in medical practices. Khevsureti’s and Pshavi’s “Wise Women” are known for their skills. For centuries they have performed complex operations, for example head … Read more

Relicts and Endemic species

In the flora of Pshavi and Khevsureti we can find many relict and endemic species, such as a unique type of Yew, Caucasian Rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasicum), two types of Birch (Betula litwinowii, B. raddeana) In Georgia only in the area of Shatili and Tsukio (on the right bank of the river Andaqistskali) we encounter the Armenian Rowan (Sorbus hajestana), … Read more

“Rock-loving” plants (petrophilic flora)

The most interesting and endemic is the flora of subnival zone in the Pshav-Khevsureti. At an altitude of 2900-4000 m. we can encounter a few species of local “rock-loving” plants. The Subnival zone lacks diversity – here, among cliffs and boulders small, homogenous communities of herbs grow. This is caused by extreme climatic conditions. As the altitute rises, … Read more

High Mountain Meadows

The meadows of Pshavi and Khevsureti are home to more than 400 species of plants. Sub-alpine meadows are located at an altitude of 1800 – 2500 meters. They have a different composition, some with dominant grain and some with various species of herbs. Grain meadows consist of brown bent (Agrostis planifolia), matgrass (Nardus stricta), Festuca varia, bunch grass (Calamagrostis … Read more

Alpine carpets

This type of plant formation is present mostly in North Khevsureti, on the border of the massive high mountainous alpine and subalpine zones and stretched up to an altitude of 2900-3300 m. Alpine carpets are created by comparatively low plants (Taraxacum confusum, Carum caucasicum, Poa alpine, Carex micropodioides, Briza marcowiczii, Luzula sudetica, Plantago saxatilis, Minuartia oreina). Alpine carpets … Read more

Tall Herbaceus (tall-herbs)

This type of plant is widespread in Pshavi and Khevsureti. The optimum latitude for its vegetation is 1800-2200 meters. Dominant species are ones from the Parsley family (Fam. Umbeliferae+Apiaceae). The most widespread of them is Sosnowsky’s Hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi). In South Khevsureti, it grows in Roshki’s moraine relief and in the area of the Gudani and Khakhmati … Read more

Forest vegetation

Forests that are located on the banks of the rivers are composed of alder-trees (Alnus barbata, A. incana) and fused with willow trees (Salix exelsa, S.alba). In some places Black Poplar (Populus nigra) and White Poplar (Populus canescens) can be encountered. In the southern slopes oak forests are to be found dominated by the Georgian Oak (Quercus petraea subsp. iberica). … Read more

Flora and Vegetation

The diversity of Pshav-Khevsureti’s flora and vegetation is dictated by the fact that this historical-geographical region is located on the boundary of the Central and East Caucasus ranges. Richness of its flora combines up to a thousand species of plants. They are divided on the northern and southern slopes (Pshavi – Southern Khevsureti and Northern Khevsureti) within … Read more


In this region we encounter different types of soil, in accordance with the altitude of the area. This includes: forest, peat and primitive mountain-meadow soil types. Mountain-meadows (2000-3500 m.) occupy the largest area of land here. The composition of the soil is dominated by clay and shale as well as sand and rock elements.


The climate in Pshav-Khevsureti varies in different parts of the region. The ravines of the river Asa and Arghuni (Northern Khevsureti) is harsher than in Pshavi and Southern Khevsureti (Aragvi’s Ravine). The Khevsureti Ridge prevents air currents from the North Caucasus entering Southern Khevsureti. Only currents from the south, east and west are reaching Pshavi and South Khevsureti, bringing humid … Read more

Geography of Pshav-Khevsureti

Pshav-Khevsureti is located in the northeast of Georgia, on the southern and northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. Eastern and western borders of Pshav-Khevsureti are defined by high mountain ridges. The western border is formed of following ranges (looking from the north): Kidegana Range; Chaukhi Massive; finally Gudamakari and Alevi ridges located between rivers Ksani and Aragvi. From the East … Read more