Astragalus sesameus

Astragalus sesameus L.

Fabaceae – Pea family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); C2a(i)].

Morphology and biology. Herbaceous perennial. Stems procumbent, with appressed white hairs. Leaves 2–8 cm long, imparipinnate, with 8–10 pairs of leaflets. Inflorescence a globose raceme, subsessile, 5–10-flowered; flowers 9–11 mm long. Corolla bluish. Legume 10–15 mm long, black, densely appressed hairy. Seeds reniform, pale brown. Fl. IV–V, fr. VI–VII. Insect pollination. Reproduction by seeds.

Habitats and populations. Occurs in dry grassy sunny places with southern exposure, on shallow soils. Takes part in communities of Dichantium ischaemum and Poa bulbosa. Populations are small, consisting of scattered solitary individuals.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Valley of Struma River (Southern – Chuchuligovo and Kulata villages), Pirin Mts (Southern – Kalimantsi village), Thracian Lowland (Kapitan Dimitrievo village); up to 350 m alt.

General distribution. S Europe, Mediterranean Area.

Threats. Afforestation; changes in land use regimes; settlement development; limited distribution and low population densities.

Conservation measures taken. The localities are within sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Precise estimation of population numerical strength and area of distribution; assessment of habitat state.

References. Velčev et al. 1962; Stanev 1975d; Vălev 1976; Petrova et al. 2010.

Author: Desislava Sopotlieva

Astragalus sesameus (distribution map)

Astragalus sesameus (drawing)