Bartsia alpina

Alpine Bartsia

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Bartsia alpina Bartsia alpina Bartsia alpina Bartsia alpina

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Common names

Alpine Bartsia.

Scientific name

Bartsia alpina L.

Conservation status and threats

NOT protected species in Bulgaria.

Description and identification

Bartsia alpina is a perennial herbaceous plant, 5–20 cm high (to 30 cm high in Greenland); perennial herbs; caespitose, or not caespitose; glandular viscid (on the stems). Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or vertical. Caudex present (dark, stout, and scaly). Aerial stems erect. Aerial stem trichomes present; spreading. Leaves not heterophyllous; distributed along the stems; opposite; distinctly distichous; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases truncate, or rounded. Blades (5–)10–15(–20) mm long, (2.5–)4–8(–10) mm wide, spreading, ovate (broadly so at the base), flat, veins palmate. Blade adaxial surface glabrescent, hairs pubescent, hairs simple, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface glabrescent, hairs pubescent, hairs sparse, hairs white, hairs straight. Blade margins crenate, with non-glandular hairs (that are glabrescent), with 7–9 teeth on each side of the blade, with teeth toward the apex (and on the sides, but not at the base), with teeth per cm 7–9; degree of incision 5–10%; apices acute. Flowering stems with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems pubescent, or pilose. Flowering stem hairs simple; white or translucent; glandular hairs absent. Inflorescences spicate; lateral; diffuse; 2–6 cm long; elongating as the fruit matures. Pedicels absent. Floral bracts green (and purplish, small leaves, possibly interpreted as large floral bracts, subtend each flower). Flowers per inflorescence 3–12; medium-sized; bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Sepals conventional; 4; fused (below the middle); 5.5–6.6 mm wide; green, or purple (slightly). Calyx tubular; 4-lobed; hairy. Calyx hairs pubescent; glandular; white or translucent (when fresh), or brown (on herbarium specimens). Calyx margins ciliate. Petals conventional; fused; longer than the calyx; 4; purple; 1.3–1.8 mm long. Corolla bilabiate; 4-lobed. Stamens 4; fused to the corolla. Anthers yellow; 1.3–1.7 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries ovate, or inverse turnip-shaped; hairy. Styles 1; 8–16 mm long; straight. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation axile. Ovules per ovary numerous. Fruit sessile; with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; ovoid (before splitting); straw-coloured; 8–12 mm long; 5–7 mm wide; hairy, or glabrescent; surface venation reticulate; dehiscent; splitting to the base into separate segments. Seeds numerous; 1.2–1.5 mm long; surfaces ridged, winged (with 3–4 prominent, almost frilly, ridges)[1]. Flowering July-August.


In the grassy semi-humid places in the alpine zone[2].

Distribution in Bulgaria

In the mountains Pirin and Rila, from 2100 to 2600 m above sea level[3].


[1] S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris - In: Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

[2] Стоянов, Н. & Б. Китанов. 1966. Пос. източник.

[3] Assyov, B., A. Petrova, D. Dimitrov & R. Vassilev. 2012. Conspectus of the vascular flora of Bulgaria. Sofia, Bulgarian biodiversity foundation.

Bartsia alpina на български

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