Haberlea rhodopensis Friv.
The species is PROTECTED by the law in Bulgaria.
Perennial herbaceous plant. Leaves in basal rosette, 3-8 cm long, 2-4 cm wide. Flowering stems unbranched, numerous, 6-15 cm tall, with scattered hairs; on top with 1 to 5 (9) flowers; under the flowers with two bracts, 5-10 mm long, opposite, filamentous. Calyx 5-15 mm long, usually almost equal to the pedicel, with five lobe. Corolla 15-35 mm long, pale gray-violet, with hairs inside. Flowering May-July1.
On silicate and calcareous rocks, most often in rock cracks, especially in the oak and beech belt2.
In the following floristic areas: Forebalkan (along the Osam River near Lovech), Central Stara Planina, Middle and Eastern Rhodopes, Thracian Lowland (near Perushtitsa, Asenovgrad, Krichim)3, Eastern Sredna Gora (above the Domlyan village, Plovdiv region)4; from 250 to 1400 m above altitude5.
Balkan endemic - apart from Bulgaria, it grows in the mountains of Northeastern Greece6.
Haberlea rhodopensis has the unique ability to stay alive for many months after it has been completely dried. The Bulgarian botanist Ivan Ganchev has found that specimens of the plant, dried in herbariums for 31 months, have survived and have regained their vitality after moistening. This natural phenomenon is called anabiosis and is common in lichens and algae and very rare in flowering plants7.
1 Маркова М. 1995. Във: Флора на Република България, том X, София.
2 Маркова, 1995.
3 Маркова, 1995.
4 Станев, Ст. 2006. Звезди гаснат в планината. Изд. "Летера". Пловдив.
5 Маркова, 1995.
6 Маркова, 1995.
7 Станев, 2006.
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