Otanthus maritimus

Otanthus maritimus (L.) Hoffmanns & Link

Asteraceae – Daisy family

Conservation status. Critically Endangered [CR B2ab(ii,iii,iv)]. BDA.

Morphology and biology. Perennial to hemi-shrub with short rhizomes. Entire plant white, woolly-haired (felted). Stems 15–40 cm high, erect, with dense leaves. Leaves entire, oblanceolate, 1.5–2.5 cm long. Inflorescence terminal, corymbose. Capitula 1–1.5 cm, ovoid, florets yellow. Fl. VII–IX, fr. IX–XI. Insect pollination. Reproduction by seeds, sometimes by vegetative means.

Habitats and populations. Found locally on coastal sands, more often in places with a filtration of underground water. Contemporary data exists from Veleka River mouth and Silistar and Lipite bays near Sinemorets village, Arkutino beach and Atanasovsko Lake beach. The subpopulations cover few to few hundreds square meters and number 10 to 300 plants. The coverage and numbers of the largest subpopulation at Veleka River mouth have been decreased by over 60% since 1997.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Black Sea coast (mainly southwards from Burgas town; in 1963 recorded at Kamchia River mouth).

General distribution. Mediterranean and Black sea coasts, part of the Atlantic coast of Europe.

Threats. Limited distribution and small populations. Strong tourist pressure in coastal areas results in destruction of the localities and impeding the restoration.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species by the Biodiversity Act. Some localities are in protected areas (Ustieto na Veleka and Silistar Protected Sites) and in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Urgent elaboration of an action plan for conservation of the species and implementation of effective measures for protection of the existing localities.

Note. Recent biosystematic studies revealed the genus Otanthus is better included as a section in the genus AchilleaAchillea maritima (L.) Ehrend. & Y.-P. Guo.

References. Delipavlov 1961; Vichodtsevskyi 1963; Bondev & Popov 1971; Tutin 1976; MOEW 1998; Ehrendorfer & Guo 2005.

Author: Antoaneta Petrova

Otanthus maritimus (distribution map)

Otanthus maritimus (drawing)