Alyssum pirinicum

Alyssum pirinicum (Stoj. & Acht.) Ančev

Alyssum cuneifolium Ten. subsp. pirinicum Stoj. & Acht. 1, 2, 3

Brassicaceae  – Cabbage family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN B1ab(iii)]. BDA. Bulgarian endemic. Glacial relict.

Morphology and biology. Lax caespitose perennial herb. Stems procumbent or ascending, with a basal rosette of obovate grey to silver grey leaves covered with stellate hairs. Inflorescence a short raceme with golden yellow flowers. Silicula 5–7 mm long, broadly elliptical, pubescent. Seeds 2 in each loculus, brown, narrowly winged. Fl. VII–VIII, fr. IX–X. Insect pollination. Reproduction by seeds and vegetative means.

Habitats and populations. Grows in open grassy and rocky places on limestone on shallow, eroded and poorly developed soils in the high mountain areas. Forms fragmented populations, each with a small number of mature individuals.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Pirin Mts (northern – Vihren and Arnautski peaks, Dolen and Goren Kazan cirques, Bayuvi Dupki); from (2200) 2500 up to 2890 m alt.

General distribution. Bulgaria.

Threats. The intensive mountain tourism, erosion processes and natural disasters (heavy rains, land and rock sliding) cause habitat changes, disturbance of the species reproduction and decrease of the area of occupancy.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. The localities are within Pirin National Park and Bayuvi Dupki - Dzhindzhiritsa Strict Nature Reserve, as well as in a site of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Population monitoring aimed at the optimization of the protection regime of the species; restriction of tourists hiking away from the marked trails; research into possibilities for ex situ cultivation of the species in botanical collections.

References. Stojanov 1970; Ančev 1984, 1991, 1992, 2001, 2007; Ančev & Goranova 2006.

Authors: Mincho Anchev & Valentina Goranova

Alyssum pirinicum (distribution map)

Alyssum pirinicum (drawing)