Pirin Mt

Pirin Mountain

Pirin is a mountain range in Southwestern Bulgaria. It is the second highest mountain in Bulgaria with Vihren peak reaching 2914 m. The basal rocks are siliceous, but a marble cap is developed in the northernmost parts of the range. The climate is typical alpine with severe winters and long persisting snow cover. The relief of the mountain is shaped during the Ice age, when the glaciers formed circuses and glacier valleys. The vegetation is varied and depends on both altitude and underlying rock. In the lower parts beech forests are developed, sometimes mixed with firs (Abies spp.). At higher parts there is a well-present coniferous belt of forests of Norway spruce (Picea abies), Scot’s pine (Pinus sylvestris), Black pine (Pinus nigra), Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce), and Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii). Above the tree line the vegetation cover is presented by communities of Dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), Dwarf juniper (Juniperus sibirica), and high-mountain grasslands. In the highest parts typical alpine vegetation is formed. Parts of the mountain are included in the Pirin National Park and in Important Plant Areas.

Pirin_Mts

© Boris Assyov

The Bulgarian endemics are numerous and the following may be seen: Alyssum pirinicum, Arabis ferdinandi-coburgii, Arenaria pirinica, Brassica jordanoffii, Campanula jordanovii, Centaurea mannagettae, Centranthus kellereri, Chondrilla urumoffii, Festuca pirinensis, Festuca pirinica, Heracleum angustisectum, Jasione bulgarica, Leontodon rilaensis, Myosotis orbelica, Oxytropis kozhucharovii, O. urumovii, Papaver degenii, Poa pirinica, Potentilla regis-borisii, Rhinanthus javorkae, Scrophularia bulgarica, Sempervivum erythraeum, Thymus perinicus, Verbascum davidoffii, Veronica kellererii, and Viola orbelica.

The Balkan endemics are also well present and the following are especially notable: Abies borisi-regis, Achillea ageratifolia, Allium melanantherum, Alyssum orbelicum, Angelica pancicii, Aquilegia aurea, Armeria rumelica, Aubrieta gracilis, Barbarea balcana, Campanula moesiaca, Campanula sparsa, Cardamine barbaraeoides, Carum graecum, Cerastium decalvans, Chamaecytisus absinthioides, Cirsium appendiculatum, Crocus veluchensis, Dianthus cruentus, D. microlepis, Digitalis viridiflora, Genista subcapitata, Hieracium pannosum, Knautia midzorensis, Pastinaca hirsuta, Pinguicula balcanica, Pinus peuce, Saxifraga ferdinandi-coburgii, S. sempervivum, S. spruneri, S. stribrnyi, Scabiosa balcanica, S. triniifolia, S. webbiana, Senecio pancicii, Silene roemeri, S. waldsteinii, Thlaspi bellidifolium, Thymus albanus, Viola grisebachiana, V. orphanidis, and V. perinensis.

A number of orchids are present in Pirin Mts, namely Cephalanthera rubra, Coeloglossum viride, Corallorhiza trifida, Dactylorhiza baumanniana, D. cordigera, D. saccifera, D. sambucina, Epipactis atrorubens, E. helleborine, E. palustris, Gymnadenia conopsea, G. frivaldii, Listera ovata, Neottia nidus-avis, Orchis coriophora, O. elegans, O. morio, O. ustulata, and Pseudorchis albida.

Further rare or threatened species are Anemone narcissiflora, Aubrieta gracilis, Campanula transsilvanica, Carex parviflora, C. rupestris, Centaurea mannagettae, Cryptogramma crispa, Elyna bellardii, Empetrum nigrum, Gentiana lutea, G. punctata, Gentianella engadinensis, Isoetes lacustris, Jasione bulgarica, Laserpitium archangelica, Leontopodium alpinum, Ligularia sibirica, Primula halleri, Rhodiola rosea, Saxifraga androsacea, . Thalictrum foetidum, Valeriana simplicifolia, and Viola pyrenaica.

Other notable plants are Achillea clusiana, Acinos alpinus, Aconitum lycoctonum, Androsace villosa, Anthyllis montana, Armeria alpina, Artemisia eriantha, Asplenium fissum, Aster alpinus, Asyneuma canescens, Bartsia alpina, Bruckenthalia spiculifolia, Campanula alpina, C. cochlearifolia, C. persicifolia, C. trichocalycina, Cardamine rivularis, Carduus kerneri, Centaurea triumfetti, Cerastium alpinum, Cicerbita alpina, Convallaria majalis, Daphne cneorum, Daphne oleoides, Dianthus petraeus, D. superbus, Doronicum austriacum, Dryas octopetala, Erigeron atticus, E. uniflorus, Genista depressa, Gentiana asclepiadea, G. cruciata, G. pyrenaica, G. verna, Gentianella bulgarica, Geranium coeruleatum, G. macrorrhizum, G. reflexum, Geum coccineum, G. montanum, G. reptans, Globularia cordifolia, Hieracium sparsum, Jasione heldreichii, Jovibarba heuffelii, Kernera saxatilis, Lactuca perennis, Laserpitium siler, Lilium martagon, Linum capitatum, Moneses uniflora, Myosotis olympica, Onobrychis montana, Orthilia secunda, Oxyria digyna, Oxytropis campestris, Pedicularis verticillata, Pinus heldreichii, Plantago gentianoides, Polystichum lonchitis, Potentilla apennina, P. crantzii, P. ternata, Prenanthes purpurea, Primula elatior, P. farinosa, P. minima, Pulmonaria rubra, Ranunculus platanifolius, Rhodax alpestris, R. canus, Salix herbacea, S. reticulata, Saponaria bellidifolia, Saxifraga luteo-viridis, S. oppositifolia, S. pedemontana, Scorzonera purpurea, Scutellaria alpina, Sedum ochroleucum, Senecio abrotanifolius, S. doronicum, Senecio papposus, Seseli rigidum, Silene ciliata, Soldanella pusilla, Telekia speciosa, Thalictrum aquilegifolium, Valeriana tripteris, and Veratrum lobelianum.