Nature park Russenski lom: Flora

Within the park’s borders there are 32 kinds of ecosystems. 19 are deciduous or broad-leafed forests, 3 are shrubland, 4 are grass-shrubland and the remaining 6 are grassland.

Of great interest are the second-growth communities of Oriental Hornbeam which have regenerated themselves through fresh shoots growing out of their stumps. Here this species is very close to the northern border of its range. Additionally, these communities of Hornbeam have very important anti-erosion functions.

The following species occur in the park: Turkey Oak, Hungarian Oak, Durmast Oak, Pubescent Oak, Small-leaved and Silver Lime, Sycamore, Ashe, Black Locust, Rock Cherry, European-American Poplar, Walnut, Black Pine, Pedunculate Oak, Lilac, Smoke tree, Whitehorn, Flowering Ashe, Dog Rose and others.

The Nature Park “Roussenski Lom” is one of the few sanctuaries for wild nature preserved in north-eastern Bulgaria. The vegetation types here are of both forest and steppe varieties. The park is located in the transitional zone between Western European forest ecosystems and Eurasian steppe ecosystems.

Two species of Bulgarian flora can be seen only here. The first is Pollygala sibirica – a rare and new species for Bulgarian flora, found in 1997. The other is Verbascum dieckianum.

The pride of the park is the rare and protected floral species, of which one is a Bulgarian endemic and five are Balkan endemics. Among these are Chamaecytisus kovacevii and Verbascum dieckianum, which is found solely along the banks of the river.

Over 700 species of higher plants are present in the fields and meadows. Rare and protected plants like Anemone sylvestris, Celtis caucasica, Cercis siliquastrum, Erodium hoefftianum, Galium rubioides can also be found here.

The flora in the park is composed of middle-European, steppe and sub-Mediterranean species. It includes about 900 higher plants, 11 of which are Balkan endemics. 1 Bulgarian endemic, 3 Balkan sub-endemics and 7 rare plants also occur in The Roussenski Lom basin. 10 of them are included in The Red Book of Bulgaria (volume #1 – for flora) – 7 categorized as rare and 3 as endangered. One plant is included in the European list of rare, endangered and endemic plants as a vulnerable species.