Centaurea achtarovii Urum.
PROTECTED species in Bulgaria.
The species is listed in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria to the category "Endangered" [Svetlana Bancheva, 2010 in: Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria].
Perennial, with short rhizome. Stem 2–12 (20) cm, simple, erect, tomentose. Leaves in a basal rosette, broadly elliptical-spathulate, entire, rarely pinnatifid; densely white to grey, pubescent on both sides. Capitula single, 3–4 cm wide. Involucre 10–15 mm wide. Involucral bracts triangular, with appendages reaching almost to the base, with black rib and numerous, argentous fimbriae. Inner florets tubular, bluish violet with purple anthers; peripheral florets radiate, blue to violet. Achenes 4–5 mm long. Pappus up to 0.5 mm long. Fl. VII–VIII, fr. VIII–IX. Insect pollination. Reproduction by seeds, mirmecochoric [Svetlana Bancheva, 2010 in: Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria].
In stony meadows near timberline and in subalpine dwarf pine and juniper scrub, on limestone. Populations are fragmented with tens of individuals. Only the population below Orelyak peak (Pirin Mts) consists of hundreds of individuals. Due to restriction to a very specific habitat the localities are strongly isolated from one another [Bancheva, 2010].
Pirin Mts; (1700)2200–2600 m alt [Bancheva, 2010].
Bulgaria. Erroneously reported for Romania as C. achtarovii subsp. sooiana Borhidi and for R Macedonia instead of C. triumfettii [Bancheva, 2010].
The plant is described as new to science from Bulgarian botanist Ivan Urumov (1856-1937) in 1920 [Bancheva, 2010] and is named after Bulgarian botanist Boris Achtarov (1885-1959).
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