West Frontier Mts

West Frontier Mountains

The West Frontier Mountains are a range of several mountains, situated on the border between Bulgaria and Macedonia. The highest and the northernmost of them is Osogovo mountain, which highest peak is Ruen (2251 m). The climate in this part is generally continental to montane, but moving south due to the lower relief of the other mountains and to the penetrating Mediterranean climatic influence, it becomes considerably milder. The vegetation in the lower parts is mostly of degraded oak forests. In altitude beech forests prevail and are especially well-developed and preserved in the Osogovo Mt, where in altitude they change into coniferous forests mostly of Scot’s pine (Pinus sylvestris). Osogovo also has subalpine belt, where the prevailing vegetation types are grasslands, heaths and scrub of Dwarf juniper (Juniperus sibirica). The following list of species corresponds primarily for the northernmost highest part of the West Frontier Mountains. In the south due to the increased Mediterranean climatic influence the flora gradually changes and is generally more or less similar to that of the southern parts of the River Struma Valley.

West Frontier Mts

© Boris Assyov

The Bulgarian endemics in this area are very few and the most spectacular of them is Campanula trojanensis.

The Balkan species are more numerous and the following must be noted: Achillea chrysocoma, A. clypeolata, Allium melanantherum, Angelica pancicii, Armeria rumelica, Campanula scutellata, Centaurea orbelica, Cerastium decalvans, Chamaecytisus absinthioides, Cirsium appendiculatum, Crocus veluchensis, Dianthus cruentus, D. microlepis, Digitalis viridiflora, Pastinaca hirsuta, Pedicularis grisebachii, Pinguicula balcanica, Scabiosa triniifolia, Silene asterias, S. roemeri, S. velenovskyana, Stachys plumosa, Thymus albanus, Trifolium velenovskyi, Verbascum adamovicii, and Viola gracilis.

Orchids that may be seen here are Dactylorhiza cordigera, D. saccifera, Gymnadenia conopsea.

Other species of interest are Acer tataricum, Achillea clusiana, A. lingulata, Acinos alpinus, Alopecurus rendlei, Anthemis macrantha, A. tinctoria, Astrantia major, Bruckenthalia spiculifolia, Campanula alpina, C. lingulata, C. persicifolia, Cardamine glauca, Carduus thoermeri, Centaurea salonitana, Digitalis grandiflora, Genista depressa, Gentiana asclepiadea, Gentianella lutescens, Geranium macrorrhizum, G. sanguineum, Geum coccineum, Jovibarba heuffelii, Lilium martagon, Lychnis coronaria, Orthilia secunda, Polygala major, Prenanthes purpurea, Ranunculus serbicus, Senecio abrotanifolius, S. subalpinus, Sibbaldia parviflora, Tanacetum macrophyllum, Thalictrum aquilegifolium, Trifolium pannonicum, and Veratrum lobelianum.