Jump to content

P. balcanica in Bulgaria

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

about 2 months ago i have been in Bulgaria, visiting my relatives.

Of course i´ve also been in the mountains (Vitosha) next to the city of Sofia. Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and it´s at about 500 meter see level, the highest summit of this mountain/massif is at about 2290 meters but there are existing many more which are higher than 2000 meters. Originally the mountain emerged as a result of volcanic activity and it´s consisting of granite rock.

I´ve visited this mountain/massif very often since my childhood but i´ve never been there when P. balcanica has been in flower and this was the reason why i´ve visited this year all locations i´ve known from the past. I´ve also known that D. rotundifolia is growing there and theoretically there should also grow U. minor which i´ve never found there for my sadness.

In a distance of about 50-80km there are 2 more mountains/massifs (Rila and Pirin) where P. balcanica is also growing but i´ve not managed to visit these locations as well, perhaps next year. :wink:

At the Vitosha mountain there are existing "stone rivers", a ribbon of huge boulders running down the mountainside. These big and relatively round stones/rocks (up to 5 meters) have mainly been formed by moving water.


Near to the biggest "stone river" my brother has taken this picture.


If you rotate this picture the result is this, somehow alien like. :sun_bespectacled:


Here at this massif there are existing deeply red, reddish, totally green and "intermediate" coloured plants/rosettes, there is also a lot of variation in the flower colour but also in the shape, the number and size of white spots and the colouration of the hairs/bristles on the flower.

All in all i´ll show plants from 4 totally seperated locations, here are the first two locations, the next 2 locations will follow these days. :wink:

Location1 at about 1500m, mainly green coloured and a lot of "intermediate" coloured plants but also a few reddish plants

reddish plant grown in full sun in a thin layer of sphagnum next to a coniferous forest.



totally green plants also growing in sphagnum only a few meters away


"intermediate", only slightely red colourated plants, exposed to the same light level as the others


At this location i´ve also found D. rotundifolia growing in about 10 meters distance :smile:


Location2 at about 1800m (tree limit), there are existing mainly small bushes, most of the Pinguicula have had a greenish to slightely reddish colour.

a few pale green coloured plants





a more pale flower







a cluster of green plants


green and slightely red coloured plants


Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

red coloured plants



"intermediate" looking plant


a very pale flower


only 30 meters away where they have been more shady because the plants are growing in a counterbore


And here are a few pictures from the landscape, only about 100 meters higher there still was snow






The hairs/bristles on all of these flowers have been white coloured, in my next posting i´ll also show plants which are having violett hairs.

BTW, in the carnivorous plant newsletter (volume 36, No. 4, december 2007) i´ve read an article in which it´s mentioned that the plants from this mountain/massif are only having one flower during the hole growing period. The plants from location1 i´ve seen in flower have had only one flower scape but in one of the pictures from location2 there is visible also a second one (there have been even much more plants with 2 flower scapes), location 3 (i´ll show it in a few days when i´ve a little bit more free time) is even having up to 4 flower scapes.

Also the penducles are partially longer than mentioned in this article and the other dimensions of the flower as well, perhaps the autor of this article has only visited location number 1.

The next 2 locations i´ll show these days. I´m really sorry for the big number of pictures but i wanted to show as much as possible different looking flowers. :sun_bespectacled:

I hope you liked them.

Best regards,


Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to all of you. :blink:

I´ve forgotten to post 4 more pictures from location2, so, here they are, in my eyes really interesting flowers.

These plants have been growing in a kind of a hollow in a distance of about 30 meters, they have started to flower after the

other plants from location2 have not been in flower anymore.


in that hollow a lot of flowers have been looking this way



flower with violett hairs insteed of white ones, but i´ll show much more such flowers next time


The pictures from location 3 and 4 i´ll show these days.

Best regards,


Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Fernando, yes, the "stone rivers" are really fantastic, to jump from stone to stone is really a big fun but sometimes it´s really hard because of their big size. :nono:

Here are the promised pictures from location 3 and 4. These locations are also totally separeted from each other and they have several kilometers distance to location 1 and 2. Location 3 is near to the tree limit at about 1800 meters, location2 at about 2100 meters (a relatively small population), there are only growing small bushes and grass.

At location3 all plants have been pale green coloured (i´ve found only 2 red coloured plants), at location 4 green, red and "intermediate" coloured plants have been growing together. All the plants have been exposed to the same light level, so i´m really wondering a little bit about their very different appearance.

I´ve viseted these 2 location 2 times because the first time when i´ve taken the pictures from location 1 and 2 these plants have not been in flower, one week later they have been in full flower.

location3 (about 1800 meters)


a very pale coloured flower



flowers with violett hairs on the corolla



here is a plant with 4 flower scapes, at this location all the plants have had 2 flowers at least, these plants have had also more pale coloured flowers



near to this location i´ve also found D. rotundifolia near to places with dripping water but i must say that the populations are very small and i´ve only found 2 locations where this species is growing


Here are also existing small ponds where i´ve expected to find U. minor, but perhaps it was too early or they are growing somewhere else



Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

location4 (at about 2100 meters)

The first time i´ve visited this location i´ve found these among other plants, deeply red and pale green coloured plants next to each other. But it´s really a hard climb to reach these plants.


in about 10cm distance "intermediate" looking plants have been growing, they have had the same light level


the same plants one week later

the deeply red ad pale green coloured plants from above


flower from the pale green coloured plant


flower from the deeply red coloured plant, the hairs on the corolla are violett coloured





growing in high grass





a pale flower



deeply red coloured plants



and a flower that was white coloured from below, all the others i´ve seen have not been that white coloured


And again sorry for the big number of pictures.

I hope you like them. :nono:

Best regards,


Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to apologize for an amazing series of pics! :) I'm surprised how fast the red & green plants flowered - was it really only a week? In the 1st pic I can't even see scapes!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Fernando,

yes, it has been exactly one week, i have been also a little bit surprised. :wink:

They are really fast growers.

But somehow it´s hard to believe that these plants should be only one single species or subspecies after they are having a very different appereance (colouration), i´m also wondering a little bit about the relatively different looking flowers and the "intermediate" looking plants.

And another thing is that in Greece there are existing populations where only green coloured plants are growing, really strange.

Best regards,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks Iggy and Aymeric. :thumbsup:

Here are a few pictures of plants that are growing near to the Pinguicula. Most plants have not been in flower so early in the year.

But i dot know their ID, so if somebody can help it would be nice.

Dactylorhiza cordigera subsp. bosniaca











veratrum lobelianium




Crocus veluchensis






side by side with P. balcanica


Best regards,


Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Daniel,

Nice pics of other plants. As I don't know exactly which species they are as I had never to Bulgaria nore have a flora of this country (but can find one if necessary), I will only be able to give you the genera so that you will probably find more info on bulgarian websites:

1 - Dactylorhiza cordigera subsp. bosniaca (as you said)

2 - Dactylorhiza sp.

3 - Ajuga sp. (A. repens probably)

4 - Ajuga sp. (A. repens probably)

5 - Ornithogalum sp. (O. umbellatum probably)

6 - Thalictrum sp. (T. aquilegifolium probably)

7 - Geranium sp. (G. nodosum probably, leaves should help)

8 - Caltha palustris pmmI think

9 - Soldanella sp.

10 - Myosotis sp.

11 - Veratrum lobelianium (as you said)

12 - Veratrum lobelianium (as you said)

13 - Viola sp. (V. calcarata maybe)

14 - Crocus veluchensis (as you said)

15 - Eriophorum sp. (E. vaginatum maybe)

16 - I don't know this plant

17 - Veronica sp.

18 - Primula sp. (P. farinosa very probably)

Edited by kisscool_38
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to all of you for your help, without your help it would have been very difficult to find the ID´s.

After i´ve seen your suggestions i´ve searched in a several publications and reports about plants growing in the Vitosha Mountain and i´ve found some of the ID´s.

1 - Dactylorhiza cordigera subsp. bosniaca

2 - Dactylorhiza sp. (perhaps the same as number 1)

3 - Ajuga sp. (perhaps A. reptans)

4 - Ajuga sp. (perhaps A. reptans)

5 - Ornithogalum sp. (perhaps O. umbellatum)

6 - Thalictrum sp. (probably T. aquilegifolium)

7 - Geranium sp. (perhaps G. nodosum)

Aymeric, you asked for a picture of the leafes, this picture shows a little bit more but not directely the leafes, but perhaps it will help.


8 - Caltha palustris

9 - Soldanella chrysostricta or Soldanella pindicola

10 - Myosotis scorpiodes

11 - Veratrum lobelianium

12 - Veratrum lobelianium

13 - Viola dacica

14 - Crocus veluchensis

15 - Eriophorum latifolium or E. angustifolium or E. vaginatum

16 - Geum coccineum

17 - Veronica sp.

18 - Primula farinosa ssp. exigma

But perhaps a few of these ID´s are not totally correct, so i would be happy about further suggestions.

And again many thanks. :woot:

Best regards,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

about 3 weeks ago i´ve revisited most of the locations but the weather was really not very good for this time of the year.

The day temperatures have been only about 5-10 degree, at night lower.

That was also the reason why most of the plants have not been in growth any more, i´ve found "plants" only at one location, at the other locations i have not been able to find them because of the dense flora, most of them already formed hibernaculae.

green coloured plants


red coloured plants


At most places the sphagnum got already red because of the low temperatures.



upwards to the summit



As i already mentioned the weather was not the best, the last few days there was even a little bit of snow on the trees.



The next day we visited a waterfall at about 1500 meters (it´s the biggest in this mountain, about 20 meters high).



That´s me exploring some plants.



Standing in one of the stone rivers, a few of these rocks are really huge as you can see. The rock behind me is about 10 meters long. :morons:


And here is a salamander, but i did not know the ID, so if somebody could help it would be really great.


trying to escape :biggrin:


But for my sadness i do not have only nice things to report.

After my last visit during summer a lot of plants disappeared, at some places for sure more than several hundreds. Last year it was absolutely the same, plants have been digged out during their growing season, at one location i even did not found a single plant. So all in all during the last few years several thousand plants have disappeared, it´s really a pity.

I´ve made a lot of similar pictures but i´ll show only this single one because it´s really hard to look at them.


So my question, does anybody know if Pinguicula are used for medical sience or something like this (like for example some Drosera)?

Best regards,


Edited by Daniel O.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...