Northeastern Bulgaria

Northeastern Bulgaria

The region of Northeastern Bulgaria encompasses lowlands, hilly areas and spectacular plateaus. Limestone is present in many parts of this corner of the country. The climate is generally continental, with hot and dry summers and severe winters; considerable submediterranean influence is felt in some places, especially nearby the coast. The vegetation is rather diverse, but strongly influenced by the long human presence in the area. Woods are generally scarce and mostly present by degraded communities, dominated by species as Oriental Hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis), Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus) and Christ’s thorn (Paliurus spina-christi). The area is famous for its steppe vegetation, which is among the southernmost in Europe. Due to their species and habitat richness parts of the territory are recognized as Important Plant Areas. The standing stone inland dunes in the area of Pobiti Kamani are recognized as a specific habitat.

© Antoaneta Petrova

The Bulgarian endemic species are a few, but some of them are quite spectacular, especially Anthemis regis-borisii, Campanula euxina, Erysimum velcevii, Koeleria davidovii, Limonium bulgaricum, Tulipa urumoffii, and Verbascum tzar-borisii. Another beautiful endemic, Colchicum davidovii, has not been seen in the area for decades and may be extinct.

Two extremely rare subendemics are only known in Bulgaria from this area, namely Centaurea jankae and Serratula bulgarica (the later also known from the adjacent Danube Plain). Their only other localities in the world are situated in the neighboring Romania (Dobrudzha).

A number of Balkan endemic plants may be seen here, some of them more or less widespread in the country, but also some fairly rare and present only in this area: Achillea clypeolata, Anchusa velenovskyi, Armeria rumelica, Astragalus gladiatus, Astragalus spruneri, Astragalus suberosus, Asyneuma anthericoides, Campanula sparsa, Centaurea cuneifolia, Centaurea rumelica, Chamaecytisus jankae, Dianthus moesiacus, Inula aschersoniana, Jurinea tzar-ferdinandii, Knautia macedonica, Moehringia grisebachii, Moehringia jankae, Nonea atra, Onosma thracica, Pastinaca hirsuta, Potentilla emili-popii, Salvia ringens, Scabiosa triniifolia, Sesleria latifolia, and Verbascum dieckianum.

A few orchids are observed in the area, namely Cephalanthera damassonium, C. longifolia, C. rubra, Limodorum abortivum, Himantoglossum caprinum, Ophrys cornuta, O. apifera, Orchis simia, O. purpurea, Platanthera bifolia, etc.

Further rare or threatened species are Adonis volgensis, Anemone sylvestris, Artemisia pedemontana, Astragalus dasyanthus, Caragana frutex, Centaurea arenaria, C. bovina, C. marshalliana, C. rumelica, C. trinervia, Crambe tataria, Dianthus nardiformis, Fritillaria pontica, Goniolimon besseranum, G. collinum, Haplophyllum thesioides, Hedysarum tauricum, Hesperis sylvestris, Jurinea ledebourii, Limonium latifolium, Paeonia tenuifolia, Polygala sibirica, Ruta graveolens, Salvinia natans, and Veronica multifida.

Other species of interest are Acer tataricum, Adonis vernalis, Agropyron cristatum, Ajuga chamaepytis, Althaea canabina, Alyssum caliacrae, Amygdalus nana, Androsace maxima, Anthemis tinctoria, Arenaria rigida, Artemisia santonicum, Asperula purpurea, Asphodeline liburnica, Aster oleifolius, Aster tripolium, Astragalus asper, A. glaucus, A. onobrychis, A. vesicarius, Aurinia saxatilis, Bituminaria bituminosa, Buglossoides purpurocaerulea, Bupleurum apiculatum, Campanula lingulata, C. sibirica, Carthamus lanatus, Celtis australis, C. glabrata, Centaurea napulifera, C. orientalis, C. salonitana, Cephalaria laevigata, C. transsylvanica, C. uralensis, Cercis siliquastrum, Ceterach officinarum, Chaerophyllum byzantinum, Clematis integrifolia, Colutea arborescens, Comandra elegans, Convolvulus cantabrica, C. lineatus, Coronilla emerus, Cotinus coggygria, Dianthus pallens, D. petraeus, D. pseudoarmeria, Dictamnus albus, Digitalis lanata, E. ritro, Echinops sphaerocephalus, Echium russicum, Euphorbia myrsinites, Fibigia clypeata, Genista sessilifolia, Globularia aphyllanthes, Glycyrrhiza echinata, Hyacinthella leucophaea, Hypericum elegans, Iris pumila, Jurinea consanguinea, Koeleria macrantha, Lathyrus pannonicus, Lembotropis nigricans, Leucojum aestivum, Linum tauricum, Lychnis coronaria, Matthiola fruticulosa, Melica transsilvanica, Melittis melissophyllum, Nigella arvensis, Onosma aucherana, O. taurica, O. visianii, Paeonia peregrina, Pimpinella saxifraga, Plantago scabra, Potentilla cinerea, Prunus mahaleb, Pyrus elaeagrifolia, Rhodax canus, Rosa gallica, Ruscus aculeatus, Salvia aethiopis, S. argentea, S. austriaca, S. nutans, S. sclarea, Satureja coerulea, Scabiosa argentea, Scolymus maculatus, Scutellaria orientalis, Sedum maximum, S. ochroleucum, Serratula radiata, Seseli rigidum, S. tortuosum, Sideritis montana, Stachys recta, Sternbergia colchiciflora, Stipa capillata, S. lessingiana, Symphytum ottomanum, Syringa vulgaris, Tamus communis, Tanacetum corymbosum, T. millefolium, Teucrium polium, Trifolium purpureum, Trinia glauca, Verbascum ovalifolium, V. phoeniceum, Vinca herbacea, Viola sieheana, Xeranthemum annuum, and X. cylindraceum.