Russian Pea Shrub.
Caragana frutex (L.) C. Koch.
The species is PROTECTED by the law in Bulgaria.
Listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria to the category "Critically Endangered"1.
Caragana frutex is a shrub, up to 1.5 (3) m high; bark dark green, smooth. Leaves paripinnate, with two pairs of leaflets, 5–25 mm long, 2–15 mm wide, obovate, cuneate at base, rounded at apex, darker above, lighter below. Flowers axillary, single, rarely 2–3 in a bunch. Corolla 15–25 mm long, bright yellow, glabrous. Legume 2.5–4 cm long, 3–4 mm wide, dark brown, with many seeds. Seeds 3–4 mm long, reniform or lens-shaped, brown. Flowering April-May2.
Occurs in stony, dry places and in areas with eroded carbonate soils. The number of individuals in a population varies from two to several hundred3.
NE Bulgaria (Shumen region, Kabiyushka Mogila Nature Monument – with hundreds of individuals; along the right bank of Kamenitsa river near Zlatna Niva village, at about 300 m to the east from the stone quarry – 2 individuals; Taushan Tepe locality at Nevsha river – the largest locality on an area of 1 ha), Danubian Plain (Dragomirovo village, Cherna Mogila locality – hundred of individuals on an area of ca. 0.2 ha; Tranchovitsa village – 4 individuals); at about 200 m alt. There is a herbarium specimen collected from Popgruevo village, Tervel municipality (1976), but since then the species has not been confirmed for this locality4.
East Europe, Balkan Peninsula, Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia5.
The plants growing in Bulgaria belong to the subspecies Caragana frutex (L.) C. Koch subsp. mollis (M. Bieb.) Kuzmanov, characterized by the fact that the leaves, flower pedicel and calyx are dense, gray pubescent, while in the other subspecies (subsp. frutex) are glabrous6.
1 Tenyo Meshinev. 2015. In: Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria. Volume 1 - Plants & Fungi.
2 Tenyo Meshinev. 2015.
3 Tenyo Meshinev. 2015.
4 Tenyo Meshinev. 2015.
5 Tenyo Meshinev. 2015
6 Кузманов, Б. 1976. В: Флора на Народна Република България, том VI, издателство на БАН, София
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