Veronica baumgartenii

Veronica baumgartenii Roem. & Schult.

Scrophulariaceae –Figwort family

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

Morphology and biology. Perennial herbs with horizontal roots. Stem procumbent, ascending, 4–12 cm high, branched, at the base sparsely, upwards the stem densely covered by simple hairs. Basal leaves sessile, ovate, middle and upper leaves sessile, elliptic-oblong, opposite, all leaves serrate with sharp teeth, with 3-cell glands. Flowers in sparse racemes. Bracts entire, lanceolate, glabrous. Petals blue or with rose tinge. Fruit elliptical, laterally flattened, glabrous capsule. Fl. VI–VII, fr. VII–VIII. Reproduction by seeds.

Habitats and populations. Inhabits mountain meadows. In recent times, the only known population is in Western Balkan Range under Midzhur peak, where there are about 30 individuals in 20–30 m2. The species has not been found in the other known locality, Maglizhki Balkan Mt, in the last years.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Balkan Range (western– Midzhur peak; central – Maglizhki Balkan); 2000–2200 m alt.

General distribution. C and SE Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, western part of former USSR, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine).

Threats. The global warming and aridisation of the climate, even botanical collections can damage the small population of the species.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. The species locality in Western Balkan Range is in Midzhur Protected Site. Part of the population is in a site of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria. An Action plan for conservation of the species is in a process of elaboration.

Conservation measures needed. Investigation of the number and area of the population, biology and ecology of the species, monitoring of the state of the population. Collection of seeds for the National Seed Genebank of Bulgaria, including the population in a protected area.

References. Peev 1973; Peev 1995.

Authors: Dimitar Peev, Sonya Tsoneva

Veronica baumgartenii (distribution map)

Veronica baumgartenii (drawing)