Lathyrus filiformis

Lathyrus filiformis (Lam.) Gay

Fabaceae – Pea family

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

Morphology and biology. Perennial herbaceous plants with rhizome. Stems 10–50 cm high, not winged. Leaves paripinnate, mucronate, with 1–4 pairs of linear to linear-lanceolate leaflets, 12–50 mm long. Flowers clustered as 2–7 in lax racemes. Calyx with equal teeth. Petals pale purple to pale violet. Fruit linear pale brown legume. Fl. V–VII, fr. VII–VIII. Reproduction by seeds.

Habitats and populations. Calcareous grasslands and slopes, on shallow soils at the edges of forests of Picea abies with Pinus sylvestris and Fagus sylvatica. Forms fragmented populations with variable density from single plants to a considerable number of individuals.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Rodopi Mts (central – Mougla, Kesten, Trigrad and Yagodina villages, Chairski lakes, Martsiganitsa chalet); from 1250 up to 1750 m alt.

General distribution. S Europe (Spain, France, Italy), Balkan Peninsula (Bulgaria), N Africa (Morocco, Algeria), the Azores.

Threats. Limited distribution, destruction of the habitats due to stock breeding and grazing; tourism.

Conservation measures taken. Some of the populations are within Shabanitsa Managed Nature Reserve (Kesten village) and Chairite protected site (Trigrad village) and in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Sustainable management and conservation of the species habitat. Protection of the species by the national Biodiversity Act and monitoring of the population.

References. Tosheva 2005.

Authors: Anita Tosheva, Boris Assyov & Cvetomir M. Denchev

Lathyrus filiformis (distribution map)

Lathyrus filiformis (drawing)