Belasitsa Mt

Belasitsa Mountain

Belasitsa is a mountain range in Southwestern Bulgaria. The mountain is divided between Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece. The highest peak is Radomir (2029 m). The climate is mild with sub-Mediterranean influence in the lower parts and gradually becomes more montane in altitude. The forest vegetation in presented by different types of broadleaf forests, which are influenced by human activities in lower altitudes. The mountain is famous for being the largest locality of Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) forests in Bulgaria. Above the tree line the vegetation is mostly presented by grasslands and scrub of Dwarf juniper (Juniperus sibirica). Belasitsa mountain is included in Belasitsa Nature Park and is designated as an Important Plant area.

Belasitsa

© Boris Assyov

A few Balkan endemics are present in this area, most notably Angelica pancicii, Armeria rumelica, Campanula velebitica, Cardamine barbaraeoides, Cerastium decalvans, Chamaecytisus absinthioides, Cirsium appendiculatum, Crocus veluchensis, Dianthus cruentus, Digitalis laevigata, D. viridiflora, Lilium albanicum, Pastinaca hirsuta, Scabiosa triniifolia, Verbascum adamovicii, Viola speciosa, and Viola stojanowii.

Orchid species seen here are Cephalanthera longifolia, Dactylorhiza saccifera, D. sambucina, Epipactis helleborine, Listera ovata, Neottia nidus-avis, Orchis morio, Platanthera chlorantha.

Further rare and threatened plant species are Anemone pavonina, Asperula capitata, Asplenium cuneifolium, Castanea sativa, Hesperis sylvestris, Ilex aquifolium, Jovibarba heuffelii, Medicago carstiensis, and Silene heuffelii.

Other species of interest are Achillea grandifolia, Acinos alpinus, Anthemis tinctoria, A. olympica, Armeria rumelica, Bruckenthalia spiculifolia, Campanula persicifolia, Campanula trichocalycina, Cardamine graeca, Carpinus orientalis, Cirsium candelabrum, Colutea arborescens, Coronilla emerus, Cyclamen hederifolium, Daphne oleoides, Dianthus petraeus, Fraxinus ornus, Genista carinalis, G. depressa, Geranium macrorrhizum, Hypericum olympicum, Jasione heldreichii, Jovibarba heuffelii, Lychnis coronaria, Ostrya carpinifolia, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Physospermum cornubiense, Ruscus aculeatus, Ruscus hypoglossum, Silene heuffelii, Silybum marianum, Thlaspi ochroleucum, Thymus jankae, and Veratrum lobelianum.

Belasitsa_book

¬†Many of the interesting plants in Belasitsa are illustrated in the book “Interesting plants of Belsitsa”. It is so far available only in Bulgarian.