Viola orbelica

Viola orbelica Pančić

Violaceae – Violet Family

Conservation status. Vulnerable [VU B2ab(ii,v)]. BDA. Balkan endemic.

Morphology and biology. Annual to biennial herbs, greyish white, short pubescent. Stem 10–30 cm high, ascending, branched from the base. Leaves blunt dentate, 6–25 mm long. Stipules leaf-like, pinnate. Peduncles glabrous or pubescent. Sepals elongate-lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers orbicular or obovate, 1–5 on the stem, solitary in the axils of the cauline leaves, not fragrant. Petals yellow, at the base orange, upper deflect upward and outwards, lateral ones curved towards the upper ones and outwards, lower with curved, pale violet or greenish spur. Fruit capsule. Fl. VI–VIII, fr. VII–IX. Reproduction by seeds with good germination rate.

Habitats and populations. Inhabits grassy, rocky places, screes and bushes. Forming fragmented populations, consisting of single to small groups (20–50 individuals) at significant distances from each other.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Pirin Mts, Rila Mts; 1200–2000 m alt.

General distribution. Bulgaria, R Macedonia.

Threats. Global warming and aridisation of the climate, trampling by tourists in the area of distribution of the species, collection, pollution.

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. Most of the localities of the species are within the borders of Rila and Pirin National Parks, Rilski Manastir Nature park And in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Investigation of the numerical strength and area of the populations, biology and ecology of the species, monitoring of the state of the populations for optimization the regime of protection.

References. Delipavlov 1979; Delipavlov 1984; Micevsky 1995; Bondev 2006.

Authors: Dimitar Peev & Sonya Tsoneva

Viola orbelica (distribution map)

Viola orbelica (drawing)