Armoracia macrocarpa

Armoracia macrocarpa Baumg.

Brassicaceae – Cabbage family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN A1c; B1ab(ii,iii,iv)+2ab(ii,iv)]. BC.

Morphology and biology. Perennial with stout rhizome. Stem 100–150 cm high, erect, glabrous. Basal leaves oblong-ovate, crenate, petiolate; cauline leaves sessile or shortly petiolate, lanceolate, dentate. Flowers 8–10 mm in diameter, in panicles. Petals white, 7–8 mm long. Silicula globose, 10–15 mm in diameter. Fl. IV–VII, fr. V–VIII. Pollinated by insects. Reproduction by seeds.

Habitats and populations. Along the Danube and in the islands. Occurs in open alluvial forests and in their periphery, but also grows in poplar plantations, at the periphery of swamps. Survives prolonged flooding. Most of the populations are with low number of individuals. Only in Golyama Barzina island (Belene island group) does the population consist of many individuals.

Distribution in Bulgaria. NE Bulgaria, Danubian plain (along the Danube – Golyam Brashlyan island, near Tutrakan, Golyama Barzina island near Belene and near Archar, Vidin district); up to 100 m alt.

General distribution. Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia. Endemic for the Danube River basin.

Threats. Changes in the water regime of the Danube; draining of swamps; replacement of the river forests by poplar plantations.

Conservation measures taken. The locality in Golyama Barzina island is within Persina Nature Park, and the locality in Golyam Brashlen island is within Kalimok – Brashlen Protected Site. All localities of the species are in sites from Natura 2000 network in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Study of the numbers of individuals, population sizes and existing threats; monitoring of the state of the known populations. Protection of the species by the national Biodiversity Act. Collection of seeds for the National Seed Genebank in Sadovo. Restoration and protection of the alluvial forests along the Danube.

References. Dimitrov 2001; Tzonev 2004.

Author: Rossen Tzonev

Armoracia macrocarpa (distribution map)

Armoracia macrocarpa (drawing)