Ranunculus sphaerospermus Boiss. & Blanche
Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family
Conservation status. Critically Endangered [CR B2b(ii)c(iii)]. BDA.
Morphology and biology. Perennial. Stem 30–40 cm high, glabrous. Leaves 5–10 cm long, with filiform lobes, shorter or equal to the internodes, usually 3-lobed; middle lobe shorter than the lateral ones. Flowers 2–3 cm in diameter, single, axillary. Peduncles 7–8 cm long at nutlets. Petals white, twice as long as the sepals. Nutlets globose, ca. 1 mm in diameter, glabrous, with slightly hooked beaks. Fl. IV–VII, fr. VII–IX.
Habitats and populations. Grows in marshes and temporary puddles, in lowlands. The species has a very restricted distribution in Bulgaria.
Distribution in Bulgaria. Thracian Lowland (Kyuchukchair locality along Maritsa river, Svilengrad region); up to 200 m alt. Reported also for the Black Sea coast.
General distribution. Southern part of the Balkan Peninsula (Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey), SW Asia, N Africa, Indo-Himalayan region.
Threats. Draining of marshy places and natural aridisation; low reproductive and migration capacity of the species; small population area; specificity of the species’ habitat.
Conservation measures taken. The locality is within a site of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.
Conservation measures needed. Protection of the species by the Biodiversity Act; monitoring of the population state; collection of seeds for the National Seed Genebank in Bulgaria; elaboration of an action plan for the species.
References. Penev 1970; Koeva 1984.
Author: Svetlana Bancheva