Viola perinensis

Viola perinensis W. Becker

Violaceae – Violet family

Conservation status. Endangered [EN B1ab(ii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iv,v)]. IUCN(R), BDA. Balkan endemic.

Morphology and biology. Caulescent, glabrous, perennial herb. Leaves more or less fleshy, entire, rarely shallowly crenate. Flowers odourless, solitary in leaf-axils of middle and upper cauline leaves, obtrapeziform in front view. Petals yellow or blue-violet; upper ones directed upwards, rotundate to almost orbicular; lateral ones patent and bent towards the upper ones, overlapping them considerably; lower one obcordate, with longitudinal violet veins. Fruit a capsule. Fl. V–VIII, fr. VII–IX. Reproduction mainly by seeds, rarely vegetatively. Good seed germination capacity.

Habitats and populations. On calcareous rocks and in stony, rocky and grassy places with shallow soil, rarely in coniferous forests. Forms mosaic, dispersed populations. On the rocks it forms communities, and on the rocky and grassy places it grows in small groups or solitary.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Pirin Mts, Slavyanka Mt; 1100-2800 m alt.; most populations occur in high mountain habitats.

General distribution. SW Bulgaria, N Greece.

Threats. Intensive tourism (trampling, bouquet-picking, pollution of localities); grazing and trampling by wild animals in high mountain meadows and pastures; natural disasters (fires, landslides).

Conservation measures taken. Protected species according to the national Biodiversity Act. Some of its localities are in Pirin National Park and in Bayuvi Doupki – Dzhindzhiritsa Strict Nature Reserve, others are in Alibotush Strict Nature Reserve in Slavyanka Mt. All localities are in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Research on population size and distribution range, species biology and ecology. Population monitoring. Preservation of seed material in the National Seed Genebank in Bulgaria.

References. Delipavlov 1979, 1984.

Author: Daniella Ivanova

Viola perinensis (distribution map)

Viola perinensis (drawing)