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U. Vulgaris and Aldrovanda Vesiculosa in Bulgaria

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Hi all, today I visited a swamp that is very close to the capital of Bulgaria (only 30-40 minute drive) and it is one of the only two places in Bulgaria that has Aldrovanda - this and the Srebarna reserve, which is all the way at the other side, close to Turkey and near the sea. Only recently a lot of this swamp was dried out cause of human activity and both species were announced extinct, but once the swamp was concluded a reserve of world importance (and not because of the CPs there, but because of the bird migration road Via Aristotelis. It's sad how people don't care about CPs :( ) both species are back again, Aldrovanda was artificially reintroduced and Utricularia Vulgaris was rediscovered, apparently it had reintroduced itsself manually. Unfortunately it is too early at this time of the year to see the flowers, but the base is clearly visible with all the bladder traps on both plants. The Utrics were quite a lot, but the Aldrovanda was very little, only a few plants here and there, unfortunately the bridge in the swamp was only a few hundred meters long and ended at some point, leaving most of the swamp unattendable so I cannot tell if the Aldrovanda population is bigger in the deeper parts. Anyway, enjoy the pics! :)

This is how the swamp looks

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I was expecting at least the water lillies to have flowered, but apparently it is too early for them as well, after all there was snow only one month ago.

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Alas, we got to the CPs, the U. Vulgaris population was a lot bigger than I expected, in fact, most of the water surface flora consisted of utrics, apparently they really love it there.

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And here is one of the very few Aldrovandas I saw, I hadn't realized I only had taken one pic of it, but when I did it was too late, so unfortunately I can show you just one.. :@

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And here is an overall view of the water surface, you can spot Aldrovandas here and there and in the middle there is one in which the "waterwheel" shape is clearly noticeable.

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Drosera Rotundifolia also grows there, in the drier parts of the swamp, but it is still too early and it is not out of dormancy yet. I will probably go again in a few months when all of the CPs are in flower and I will also see the D. Rotundifolia. Overally I am happy with the experience, cause Bulgaria has a very small variety of CPs and I got to see a big part of them. I hope you enjoyed the pics :)

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Nice pictures, hopefully will will be able to take some pictures of the flowers in the near future.

About P. balcanica, i will contact you these days.

Best regards,

Dani

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Guest Andreas Eils

Oh, Bulgaria is such a lovely country! I wish I could emmigrate there... Beautiful landscapes and even wild populations of Aldrovanda and U. vulgaris and for sure some interesting terrestrial orchids.... :wub: I fully understand your homesickness, Dani! :wink:

Thanks for the pics, Random

Regards

Andreas

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Oh, Bulgaria is such a lovely country! I wish I could emmigrate there... Beautiful landscapes and even wild populations of Aldrovanda and U. vulgaris and for sure some interesting terrestrial orchids.... :wub: I fully understand your homesickness, Dani! :wink:

Thanks for the pics, Random

Regards

Andreas

Hey Andreas,

Yes, the nature here is lovely, but you do not wanna know how the whole deal with the economy is here - it's a cacofony! Yes, there is a number of terrestrial orchids in that swamp, but they haven't flowered yet. I have picked a very bad time to go there :D but if I revisit it I will post pics of the orchids, the lillies' flowers and all that.

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Nice pics, Mario. Hope u had a nice trip. Glad that Aldro again thrive in Bulgaria and thanks for sharing the pics with us mate u know. :tu:

I wish I could emmigrate there...

Hmm, indeed. I still have one spare bed for you, Andreas anyhow :Laie_97:

Cheers,

Dimitar

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Guest Andreas Eils

Thanks for the offer, Dimitar. I will first move to another town in Germany, closer to my parents. That will prevent me from being alone so much like here in Paderborn. The next step will then be moving to Bulgaria. :D

I´m looking very forward to the next swamp pics including orchid and lily flowers! :good2:

Greetings

Andreas

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Very nice to see this topic about Aldrovanda in habitat in Bulgaria. Never seen pictures of the Bulgarian habitat. But last week I went to the 2 sites in Switzerland where it is found, near Niederhasli and Hettlingen. Especialy the site north of Hettlingen has lots of Aldrovanda. I never had seen them that beautifull. Those 2 sites where they are found are where places where in the past peat had been harvested. As a result there are now some small lakes and bogs where the Aldrovanda, with Utricularia australis are found. But Aldrovanda is a very picky plant and much more vulnerable for polution. In the first site I visited, near Niederrhasli, the biggesrt lake is used for swimming. There in that lake there was only Utricularia australis, no Aldrovanda. Only in the cleaner smaller lakes was also Aldrovanda.

The 2 sites are protected as a naturereserve but surroiunded by farmland, dangerously close by the way. When you get runoff of water polluted with fertiliser and/or pesticides that could be catastrophic for such an oligotrophic habitat. And eutrophication is probably the main reason of the dramatic decline of Aldrovanda in Europe! And has led to the extinction in many areas unefortunately.

The Aldrovanda in Switzerland have been introduced about a hundred year ago from the now extinct population near the Bodensee/Lake Constance. It was near Lindau if I anm right that they where ones to be found. Pollution has finished them of there. Only because someone a hundred years ago introduced them in another area is it that that strain or clone of Aldrovanda those still exist.

About Utricularia vulgaris, fortunately that is still qieut a common plant. Well at least here in the Low Countries. And easy to grow in ponds.

Alexander

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Hi Alexander,

I'd love to see pics if the Aldrovanda in Switzerland, if it isn't a problem ofcourse. I hear that there are some rare and strange extraordinary red forms around such places, perhaps you have seen some of these.

Yes, pollution really is a major problem, but it is good to hear measures are being taken lately and hopefully we will make it alright. :Laie_71mini:

Actually, I'm not sure if all of that Utric is Vulgaris, they could very well be Australis or even Minor, all three species grow in this marsh, one cannot surely tell until the flowers appear.

Best regards,

Mario

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Hi Alexander,

I'd love to see pics if the Aldrovanda in Switzerland, if it isn't a problem ofcourse. I hear that there are some rare and strange extraordinary red forms around such places, perhaps you have seen some of these.

Yes, pollution really is a major problem, but it is good to hear measures are being taken lately and hopefully we will make it alright. :Laie_71mini:

Actually, I'm not sure if all of that Utric is Vulgaris, they could very well be Australis or even Minor, all three species grow in this marsh, one cannot surely tell until the flowers appear.

Best regards,

Mario

Hi Mario,

I have not seen red ones, only some reddish collor due to the intense sunshine. And the Aldrovanda in Switzerland are of one clone fom the Bodensee. The red forms of Hungary for example are just a genetic variation I guess.

I tried to place a picture but not working unefortunately.

Best regards,

Alexander

Edited by Alexander Nijman

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You can already see the swiss populations in my thread here.

I also thought it was rather odd that one location has reddish plants, considering the fact that in the temperate zones these plants reproduce almost asexually, and they originate from the same population in germany.

Id also like to state that in my opinion its very imperative not to give such exact location information.

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I personally do not believe telling Aldrovanda locations is a major problem, not a lot of people are interested in them. Although with other CPs, we should, indeed, try to keep locations a secret as much as we can. I know a person who posted pictures of CPs and wild berries growing next to them, and gypsies destroyed the place just to get their hands on the berries... sad story...

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Well I have removed the exact location information. In case off. Well those whom want to find the informatiion can find it anyway. As I did.

A few years ago I had some Aldrovanda for sale. Only 2 people or so where interested. Not a very populair plant it seems. Wich is a bit strange I would think as they are the only carnivorous waterplants with the same trap system as Dionea.

Alexander

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It's simply because the plant's requirements are so much different than the average CP, and it is hard to keep CO2 level high in water and everything like that, so I think that only the people who are very, very advanced and have their hands on nearly everything else start looking for this plant, to complete their collection. It is a very hard grower, in my experience.

Edited by Random

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Well I grow them in a 150 liter container. Together with Typha angustifolia, Utricularia vulgaris and Stratiotes aloides. The Typha grows in a bit of clay, good for minirals and borium. At the bottom I have put a good ammount of old Typha angustifolia litter. And some stoneslaps above it to keep it at the bottom. The water has the collor of tea, a good sign. And due to the tannines now algae! The Typha litter releases CO2 wich is essential for good Aldrovandagrowth. And only rainwater they get, so water is slightly acid.

I have made the habitat a month ago and now with the Aldrovanda growing well. Its in full sun, Aldrovanda like it warm, arround 25 C is good.

Well ones you get the method right, its not to difficuld. Bottleneck is the wintertime when you may loose a lot of turions. More info on Adamec Lubomir, s website.

Alexander

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To be honest it depends from the rain fall in that area but the water is between - PH6.5 - PH7.3 year round. The Dragoman swamp is getting bigger each year and

Adrovanda and Utrics are in abundance as in Srebarna resort.

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Well I see you get Drosera rotundifolia there also. That means that there are some parts with acid peaty or sandy soil or peatmoss arround. And enough rain for acidification.

Here in The Netherlands Drosera rotundifolia can grow in large quantities on moist poor acid soils, sand, peat, loamy substrates or peatmoss. The most common pc in our cooltemperate maratime climate.

I suppose those Aldrovanda are mostely found in the more central parts of that swamp where the water has the best PH and is at its cleanest.

Alexander

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Yesterday I had a look at the Dutch population of Aldrovanda. They are thriving here. And as they are in so many areas in danger of deasapearing its good they have a save secure refuge here.

Alexander

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Last Sunday we had an excursion to the Wannerheide near Cologne. And we did see Aldrovanda vesiculosa growing together with Utricularia australis in a concrete gutter! Very odd to see an extremely rare Aldrovanda growing happily in an concrete gutter! It was about 10 meter long by 2 meters wide. Well offcourse someone had introduced Aldrovanda in that gutter. That cutter was part of a former clening instalation for tanks when they where dirty after a day training in the field.

That Wannerheide was a former military training area. Now its a naturereserve fortunately. Well you also get the common stuff there like Drosera rotundifolia and D. intermedia, but not in that gutter. They where in some boggy area. With plants like Nartecium ossifragum and some Dactylhoriza maculata.

Alexander

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I had tested the water, it did seem pretty alkaline, actually. It had roughly 8 Ph at the beginning of the bog, it is supposedly more acidic deeper. Very strange, indeed.

Alexander, could you share some pics of the Wannerheide? :)

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An Ph of 8 is very high indeed for Aldrovanda. Those Aldrovanda in Bulgaia seem to have been reintroduced. There is a new good book on Aldrovanda from Adam Cross.

About the Aldrovanda of the Wahner Heide, I have found out that they are from the red Hungarian strain. I tried to dowload a picture but not working.

Alexander

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