Salix retusa

Salix retusa L.

Salicaceae – Willow family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN B2ab(ii,v); C2a(ii)]. BDA. Glacial relic.

Morphology and biology. Small shrubs with branched, procumbent stems. Branches short, glabrous, with peeling bark. Buds ovate, glabrous. Leaves rounded, more or less truncate or emarginate at apex, almost entire, or with a single tooth, glabrous or sparsely hairy, on both surfaces lucent, gradually transforming in a petiole. Stipules deciduous. Catkins apical, developing with the leaves. Bracts yellow, with deep yellow apex, persistent. Male flowers with 2 stamens and 2 nectar glands. Female flowers with 2 nectar glands and conic, glabrous ovary on a short stalk, with short bifurcate style and stigmas. Fruit dehiscent capsule. Fl. VII–VIII, fr. VIII. Reproduction by seeds and vegetative means.

Habitats and populations. Stony and rocky places, rocky crevices, stony screes in the alpine belt of Rila Mts. The population consists of few groups of individuals, creeping on the stony surface and forming small groups.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Rila Mts (the ridge of Ibar peak, Yossafitsa peak, Mermera and Dzhendema localities); 2500–2600 m alt.

General distribution. Europe (Pyrenean mountains, the Alps), Dinaric Alps, the Carpathians, mountains of the Balkan Peninsula.

Threats. Deterioration of the quality of the habitat due to aridisation and warming of the climate, destruction of individuals due to trampling by tourists.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. The localities fall within the borders of Rila National Park and Rilski Manastir Nature Park as well as in a site of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Not necessary.

References. Velchev 1966; Velchev 1984.

Authors: Dimitar Peev & Sonya Tsoneva

Salix retusa (distribution map)

Salix retusa (drawing)