Quercus coccifera

Quercus coccifera L.

Fagaceae – Beech family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN B1ab(ii,v)]. BDA.

Morphology and biology. Evergreen shrub, rarely small tree. Annual branches brownish, densely addressed hairy or with sparse, small stelliform hairs. Buds ovate, obtuse. Bracts linear, obtuse, falling soon. Leaves thin but rigid, dentate, spinose-dentate, undulate, rarely entire; dark green with prominent veins above, pale green and smooth beneath, glabrous at maturity. Male flowers arranged in hanging catkins, the peduncles of the male catkins pubescent; the peduncles of the female inflorescence adpressed hairy or glabrous. Acorn light brown. Fl. V, fr. VIII–X in the second year. Reproduction by seeds and vegetative shoots.

Habitats and populations. On silicate and limestone areas with shallow soil mainly in the southwestern part of the country. It used to be more widely distributed in the country. It was utilized for grazing, heating, different domestic needs including preparation of agricultural lands. Nowadays, it forms communities in the vicinity of Kamenitsa and Kalimantsi villages. In the other locality in Struma valley the areas do not exceed several square kilometres. The population is fragmented, consists mostly of individuals from vegetative origin. Reproductive capacity is low. A group of 11 shrubby individuals has been recorded in Eastern Balkan Range on an area of 100 m2.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Balkan Range (Eastern – Sinite Kamani), Valley of Struma River (southwards from Kresna gorge), Valley of Mesta River (between Garmen and Debren villages), Pirin Mts (Southern – around Kalimantsi, Belyovo, Pirin, Petrovo villages), Rhodopi Mts (Eastern – single individuals around Avren, Kayaloba villages); 90 – 850 m alt.

General distribution. Mediterranean region, Portugal. The northern border of the area of the species is in Bulgaria.

Threats. Stock breeding and timber production.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. The locality in Eastern Balkan Range is in Sinite Kamani Nature Park. Some localities are in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Monitoring of the population state. Establishment of a protected areas for the localities around Kamenitsa and Kalimantsi villages.

References. Ganchev & Bondev 1966; Velchev & Vassilev 1982; Bondev 1984; Georgieva & Dohchev, 2009; Tashev et al. 2010.

Authors: Dimitar Peev & Sonya Tsoneva

Quercus coccifera (distribution map)

Quercus coccifera (drawing)