Central Stara Planina Mt

Central Stara Planina Mountain

The region includes the middle parts of the Stara Planina mountain range. Its highest peak is Botev (2376 m). The climate is generally continental to montane in the higher parts, and the southern slopes are experiencing the soothing influence of the warmer lowlands. The underlying rock is mostly granite, but limestone is also present in places. The vegetation is varied – warm degraded deciduous forests in the lowest parts, changing to temperate hornbeam forests in altitude. Above those forests is situated very well developed beech belt. The coniferous forests are relatively less presented, mostly of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce) in places. Above the tree line a specific mosaic is developed of subalpine grasslands, scrub of Dwarf juniper (Juniperus sibirica) and heaths with various Ericaceae. The central parts of Stara Planina Mt are included in the Central Balkan Nature Park and are an Important Plant Area.

Central_Stara_Planina

© Boris Assyov

Bulgarian endemics are Alchemilla achtarowii, Alchemilla jumrukczalica, Alopecurus riloensis, Anthemis sancti-johanis, Campanula trojanensis, Centaurea kernerana, Festuca balcanica, Micromeria frivaldszkyana, Primula frondosa, Silene trojanensis, Stachys bulgarica, and Verbascum boevae.

Notable Balkan endemics are Acer heldreichii, Achillea ageratifolia, Allium melanantherum, Angelica pancicii, Armeria rumelica, Asyneuma anthericoides, Barbarea balcana, Campanula lanata, C. moesiaca, Carum graecum, Cerastium decalvans, Cirsium appendiculatum, Crocus veluchensis, Dianthus microlepis, Digitalis viridiflora, Haberlea rhodopensis, Lilium jankae, Pinguicula balcanica, Pinus peuce, Saxifraga sancta, Scabiosa triniifolia, Scrophularia aestivalis, Silene roemeri, and S. waldsteinii.

Orchids seen in the area are Dactylorhiza saccifera, D. sambucina.

Other rare or threatened plants are Anemone narcissiflora, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Asperula capitata, Campanula latifolia, Campanula transsilvanica, Cirsium oleraceum, Cortusa mathioli, Daphne blagayana, Gentiana lutea, Gentiana punctata, Jovibarba heuffelii, Lathyrus linifolius, Lathyrus transsilvanicus, Leontopodium alpinum, Lilium jankae, Phyteuma confusum, Rhododendron myrtifolium, Rhynchocorys elephas, and Saxifraga marginata.

Other species of interest are Achillea distans, A. grandifolia, A. lingulata, Acinos alpinus, Arabis procurrens, Asyneuma canescens, Aurinia saxatilis, Bruckenthalia spiculifolia, Campanula alpina, C. persicifolia, C. scheuchzeri, C. transsilvanica, Cardamine rivularis, Centaurea deusta, C. napulifera, Cotoneaster integerrimus, Dianthus petraeus, Digitalis grandiflora, D. viridiflora, Doronicum austriacum, Dryas octopetala, Genista depressa, Gentiana asclepiadea, Gentianella bulgarica, Geranium macrorrhizum, G. sylvaticum, Geum coccineum, Hieracium sparsum, Iberis sempervirens, Jasione laevis, Laserpitium latifolium, Ligusticum mutellina, Lilium martagon, Melittis melissophyllum, Meum athamanticum, Minuartia saxifraga, Moneses uniflora, Orthilia secunda, Potentilla rupestris, Pulmonaria rubra, Rhodax alpestris, Scabiosa lucida, S. triniifolia, Scorzonera purpurea, Sempervivum erythraeum, Senecio papposus, Silene ciliata, Tanacetum macrophyllum, Telekia speciosa, Thalictrum aquilegifolium, Vaccinium uliginosum, Veratrum lobelianum, and Viola dacica.

Central Balkan book

Many of the interesting pants of the area are illustrated in the book “The green treasure of Central Balkan Balkan National Park”. It is so far available only in Bulgarian.