Centaurea immanuelis-loewii Degen
Asteraceae – Daisy family
Conservation status. Endangered [EN B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)]. BDA, HD. Balkan endemic.
Morphology and biology. Perennial herbaceous plant. Stems 30–50 cm, simple and leafless above. Leaves oblong lanceolate, pinnate, subglabrous; lobes 2–4 mm wide, entire or denticulate. Involucre 15–20 mm in diameter, ovate-globose. Involucral bracts triangular, decurrent, dark brown, with 4–6 silvery fimbriae on each side. Florets dark purple, outer slightly longer than inner. Achenes c. 4 mm long; pappus equal to the achene. Fl. VI–VII, fr. VII–VIII. Insect pollination.
Habitats and populations. On dry, stony places and screes with southern or southwestern exposure, on silicate. Participates in open, xerothermic plant communities. Populations are healthy and most often consist of 100–400 individuals, localized on restricted areas (ca. 300–1000 m2).
Distribution in Bulgaria. Znepole region (Konyavska and Golo Bardo Mts), valley of Strouma River (Boboshevski Ruen Mt, Sandanski, Kresna, Oshtava village) and Pirin Mts (southern – Vlahi village); 100–900 m alt.
General distribution. Balkan Peninsula (SW Bulgaria and N Greece).
Threats. Reduction of the population area as a result of highway construction (Golo Bardo Mt); exploitation of inert materials (Konyavska Mt); erosion; low reproduction and migration potential; specific habitat characteristics; restricted distribution.
Conservation measures taken. The species is protected by the Biodiversity Act. A site in the Videnski region of Konyavska Mt. is proposed for legal protection. Some localities are within sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.
Conservation measures needed. In situ conservation within protected areas; monitoring of the population state; collection of seeds for the National Seed Genebank in Bulgaria.
References. Dostál 1976; Ninova 1984; Denchev & Kozhuharov 1987; Dimitrov & Gussev 1995; Apostilova & Denchev 1997; Gussev et al. 2002.
Author: Svetlana Bancheva