Viola grisebachiana

Viola grisebachiana Boiss.

Violaceae –Violet family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN B2ab(i,ii,iv,v)]. BDA. Balkan endemic.

Morphology and biology. Perennial herb with branched rhizome. Stem 2–8 cm high, procumbent or ascending, often subterranean. Leaves fleshy, ovate-orbicular. Stipule entire like the leaves, glabrous. Flower stalks glabrous. Flowers rotund to wide obovate, 1–3 on the stem, single, in the axils of the cauline leaves, not fragrant. Sepals elongate-ovate, acute. Petals blue, rarely yellow; upper deflected upwards, laterals curved towards the upper and spread outwards, lower with dark veins; spur dark to green violet, straight and slightly curved upwards. Fruit capsule. Fl. VI–VIII, fr. VII–IX. Reproduction by seeds and vegetative means.

Habitats and populations. Inhabits limestone rocks and stony places. Populations are fragmented, with small, dense groups (about 100 individuals on 10 – 15 m2). Because of the adaptation to a very specific habitat the two known localities are significantly isolated and contact between them is not possible.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Pirin Mts (northern), Rhodopi Mts (central – Chervenata Stena above Bachkovo village, Trigrad village, Mursalitsa massif); 1300–2800 m alt.

General distribution. Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, R Macedonia, Serbia.

Threats. The active tourism in the area of distribution and limited distribution of the species.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. Some of the localities occur within the borders of Pirin National park and Chervena Stena Strict Nature Reserve and in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Detailed research of the numerical strength and areas of the populations, biology and ecology of the species for optimization of the protection regime.

References. Valentine 1968; Delipavlov 1979; Delipavlov 1984; Petrova & Vladimirov 2010.

Authors: Dimitar Peev & Sonya Tsoneva

Viola grisebachiana (distribution map)

Viola grisebachiana (drawing)