Strandzha Mt

Strandzha Mountain

Strandzha is a low mountain in Southeastern Bulgaria. Its highest ridge reaches 710 m (Golyamo Gradishte peak). The climate is mild with Mediterranean influence and relatively high air humidity. The basal rocks are siliceous or calcareous. During the Ice Age the mountain remained sheltered from the cold influence of the glacial shields in the Balkan high mountains and therefore here specific types of vegetation survive, rich in Tertiary relict plants, showing undoubted relationship with the flora of Caucasus. For its exceptional biodiversity the mountain is designated as Strandzha Nature Park and is an Important Plant Area.

Strandzha Mt

© Boris Assyov

The Bulgarian endemics are very few and most notable among them are Anthemis jordanovii and Oenanthe millefolia.

The Balkan endemics are also not numerous and the following might be mentioned: Achillea clypeolata, Campanula sparsa, Heptaptera triquetra, Hypericum umbellatum, Iris suaveolens, Knautia byzantina, Knautia macedonica, Saponaria stranjensis, Scabiosa triniifolia, Stachys thracica, and Veronica turrilliana.

The Tertiary relict plants are probably the most notable part of the flora of Strandzha, presented by species as Calluna vulgaris, Cicer montbretii, Cyclamen coum, Daphne pontica, Epimedium pubigerum, Erica arborea, Fagus orientalis, Hypericum androsaemum, H. calycinum, Ilex colchica, Mespilus germanica, Pyracantha coccinea, Quercus hartwissiana, Rhododendron ponticum, Scilla bithynica, Symphytum tauricum, Taxus baccata, Trachystemon orientalis, and Vaccinium arctostaphylos.

A number of orchids may be spotted here, such as Anacamptis pyramidalis, Cephalanthera damasonium, C. longifolia, Dactylorhiza romana, Himantoglossum caprinum, Limodorum abortivum, Ophrys cornuta, O. reinholdii, O. elegans, O. laxiflora, O. papilionacea, O. purpurea, O. simia, and O. tridentata.

Other rare or threatened plants are Aegilops geniculata, Anemone pavonina, Asperula involucrata, Cirsium bulgaricum, Cistus salvifolius, Echium plantagineum, Fritillaria pontica, Hesperis sylvestris, Lens ervoides, Polygala supina, Romulea linaresi, Salvia forskahlei, Sideritis syriaca, Teucrium lamiifolium, Verbascum bugulifolium, and Vicia incisa.

Further notable species are Acer tataricum, Achillea coarctata, Anthemis parnassica, Astragalus spruneri, Aurinia saxatilis, Bellardia trixago, Bituminaria bituminosa, Campanula lingulata, Carthamus dentatus, Centaurea pichleri, C. salonitana, Cephalaria transsylvanica, Ceterach officinarum, Cistus incanus, Clematis viticella, Coronilla scorpioides, Cotinus coggygria, Cyclamen hederifolium, Digitalis lanata, Doronicum orientale, Euphorbia myrsinites, Fraxinus ornus, Fumana procumbens, Genista carinalis, Geranium asphodeloides, G. sanguineum, Goniolimon collinum, Hyacinthella leucophaea, Inula aschersoniana, Iris sintenisii, Jasione heldreichii, Jasminum fruticans, Knautia degenii, K. orientalis, Lathyrus aureus, L. digitatus, L. laxiflorus, Linaria pelisseriana, Lychnis coronaria, Melica ciliata, Neatostema apulum, Nonea pulla, Onobrychis caput-gali, Onosma aucherana, Paeonia peregrina, Paronychia cephalotes, Phillyrea latifolia, Primula acaulis, Pyrus elaeagrifolia, Rhodax canus, Ruscus aculeatus, R. hypoglossum, Salvia sclarea, Sedum ochroleucum, Symphytum ottomanum, Syringa vulgaris, Teucrium polium, Verbascum phoeniceum, Vinca herbacea, Viola sieheana, and Xeranthemum annuum.

Strandzha Book English

Many of the interesting plants of Strandzha are illustrated in the book “The plant of Strandzha Nature Park”. It is available in English.

Strandzha_Orchids_book

The orchids that may be seen here are described and illustrated in the book “Orchids of Strandja”. This book is also available in English.