Znepole area

Znepole area

The region of Znepole encompasses a number of small mountains in the western parts of Bulgaria. The climate is continental, with severe winters. The prevailing rocks are calcareous, which predetermines very rich and interesting flora. The vegetation in the area is varied, but everywhere the human impact is strongly felt. In the past the mountains used to have well developed woody vegetation, mainly oak and in places beech forests. They were later gradually destroyed by human activities and nowadays the vegetation is secondary. The wooded areas are scarce and presented mostly by coppice woodlands of Oriental hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis) and scrub. Only in places small remnants of oak and beech forests are seen. Vast areas are covered by grasslands and pastures, often rich in interesting and rare plant species. Apart of these, two marshes, which were drained in the last century, are now restored. Associated with the marshes are also interesting areas with humid grasslands. Due to their species and habitat richness parts of the territory are recognized as Important Plant Areas.

Znepole_area

© Boris Assyov

Among the most interesting plants in the area are some Bulgarian endemics, namely Bromus moesiacus, Jurinea tzar-ferdinandii, Erysimum welcevii, Tulipa urumoffii, Verbascum anisophyllum, V. jordanovii, and V. urumoffii.

The Balkan endemics are numerous. Most notable among them are Acanthus balcanicus, Achillea ageratifolia, A. clypeolata, Anthyllis aurea, Aquilegia nigricans, Astragalus wilmottianus, Asyneuma anthericoides, Centaurea chrysolepis, C. immanuelis-loewii, Cephalaria flava, Chamaecytisus jankae, Crocus veluchensis, Dianthus cruentus, D. noeanus, Edraianthus graminifolius, E. serbicus, Erysimum commatum, Genista subcapitata, Knautia macedonica, Lathyrus pancicii, Scabiosa triniifolia, Sesleria latifolia, Silene fabarioides, S. frivaldskyana, and Tragopogon pterodes.

Orchids are presented by many species, most notable of them being Epipactis palustris, Himmantoglossum hircinum, Limodorum abortivum, Orchis militaris. Other more common species are Cephalanthera damasonium, Dactylorhiza sambucina, Neottia nidus-avis, Ophrys cornuta, Orchis coriophora, O. elegans, O. morio, O. pallens, O. purpurea, O. tridentata.

The protected species are numerous in this area. Apart from some noted above, other more interesting are Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Anemone sylvestris, Cachrys alpina, Eryngium palmatum, Fritillaria meleagroides, F. orientalis, Goniolimon collinum, Morina persica, Paeonia tenuifolia, Salix rosmarinifolia, and Viola pumila.

Other interesting plant species are Acer tataricum, Achillea crithmifolia, A. grandifolia, Acinos alpinus, Adonis vernalis, Aethionema saxatile, Ajuga chamaepytis, Allium cupani, A. saxatile, Anthemis tinctoria, Amygdalus nana, Anthericum liliago, Artemisia alba, Asperula taurina, Asphodeline taurica, Asphodelus albus, Asplenium adianthum-nigrum, Astragalus angustifolius, A. monspessulanus, Astragalus onobrychis, Asyneuma canescens, Aurinia saxatilis, Bruckenthalia spiculifolia, Campanula glomerata, C. persicifolia, Carduus thoermeri, Carlina acanthifolia, Centaurea napulifera, C. salonitana, Cirsium candelabrum, C. ligulare, Colutea arborescens, Comandra elegans, C. scorpioides, Cotinus coggygria, Cotoneaster integerrimus, Crocus biflorus, C. flavus, C. olivieri, Daphne mezereum, Delphinium fissum, Dianthus petraeus, Dictamnus albus, Digitalis lanata, Doronicum hungaricum, Echinops banaticus, E. ritro, Echium russicum, Erythronium dens-canis, Euphorbia myrsinites, Fumana procumbens, Genista depressa, G. sessilifolia, Gentiana cruciata, Gentianella ciliata, Geranium macrorrhizum, G. phaeum, G. sanguineum, Gladiolus imbricatus, Globularia aphyllanthes, Hesperis tristis, Hyacinthella leucophaea, Hypericum rochelii, H. rumeliacum, Hyssopus officinalis, Inula ensifolia, Iris graminea, I. pumila, I. reichenbachii, I. variegata, Jasione heldreichii, Jovibarba heuffelii, Lactuca perennis, Laser trilobum, Laserpitium siler, Lathyrus laxiflorus, Lilium martagon, Linaria genistifolia, Linum flavum, Lychnis coronaria, Micromeria cristata, Nonea pulla, Ononis pusilla, Onosma echioides, O. taurica, Ornithogalum boucheanum, Paeonia peregrina, Paronychia cephalotes, Pastinaca hirsuta, Pimpinella saxifraga, Plantago argentea, Polygala hospita, Potentilla cinerea, P. rupestris, Primula acaulis, Prunus mahaleb, Ptilostemon afer, Pulmonaria mollis, Pulsatilla montana, Ranunculus illyricus, Rhodax canus, Salvia aethiopis, S. sclarea, Satureja montana, Saxifraga rotundifolia, Sedum maximum, S. ochroleucum, Serratula radiata, Seseli rigidum, Silene flavescens, S. saxifraga, S. supina, Sternbergia colchiciflora, Syringa vulgaris, Teucrium montanum, Thymus jankae, Trinia glauca, Veratrum nigrum, Verbascum phoeniceum, Vinca herbacea, Waldsteinia geoides, Xeranthemum annuum, X. cylindraceum, Ziziphora capitata.