Nature park Zlatni pjasatsi: Flora
Tree and shrub ecosystems form the main part of the park’s vegetation. They occupy 90% of the territory of the park. The mixed deciduous forests, in which hornbeam, moss-capped oak and Hungarian oak prevail, are the most widely distributed. Although the Nature park covers a relatively small area it is a unique combination of oak forests typical of the region with wet forests overgrown with lianas in the dingles near the sea and submediterranean shrub species on the dry slopes. The primary, i.e. indigenous vegetation of the park is represented by forest ecosystems where oaks and ecosystems of dense-forest type are dominant. The primary ecosystems in which various types of oaks – moss-capped oak, Hungarian oak, swamp white oak are predominating together with silver-leafed lime, manna ash, yoke-elm, field maple etc. cover the hilly areas in the central part of the park. These forests include almost all tree species typical of the lower tree growing zone (up to 1000 m above sea level). Some of them (limes, elms) are over 100 years old. The common mullein, toadflax and ribwort are dominant herbaceous species. The dense-forest ecosystems cover quite a small area in the southeastern part of the park. They occupy areas with high soil and air humidity. These are deciduous species (Caucasian ash, moss-capped oak, yoke-elm, white poplar, white fir, Mahaleb cherry), overgrown with climbing vegetation: old man’s beard, wild vines, ivy, hop and silk vine. These forests are surprisingly similar to the rain forests. The wood horsetail, oriental iris, wild orchids, cuckoopint are common herbaceous species. Shrub ecosystems cover the steep parts of the park with thin top soil layers and a calcareous rock base. The lilac, crown vetch, jasmine, Christ’s thorn are dominant shrub species. Herbaceous species are mostly drought-resistant. Rare species such as fernleaf wormwood, fieldchamomile, and the protected species Joint-pine can be found. The forest has changed during its age-old co-existence with man. Primary vegetation has been replaced with hornbeam spinneys on a relatively large area in the park – on dry and rocky places and on poor soils. Besides the hornbeam, manna ash, broad-leafed lime etc. can be found in these forests. Venerable trees, representatives of the primary vegetation, are common. The snowdrop and Caucasian primula are protected herbaceous species of interest. The so-called cultivated ecosystems are a result of human activity. The most widely distributed coniferous crops in the park are Austrian pine, cypress and cedar and the deciduous crops acacia, flowering ash, white poplar. The flora of the Golden Sands Natural park includes about 500 species of vascular plants. The rare, threatened and protected species, which number 21 on the territory of the park, are the most important among them.
The flora of the Pobiti Kamani protected area includes more than 350 species of higher plants. This is quite a considerable diversity having in mind the relatively small area and the extreme conditions of the sandy terrain. The families richest in species are Asteraceae – 35 species, Poaceae – 28 species and Caryophyllaceae – 24 species. Grass vegetation is prevalent. Communities dominated by typical sand-loving (psamophytic) species occupy the largest part of the area. They are characterized with considerable species diversity and irregular spatial structure. Tree species form a very small part of the vegetation cover. In the stone groups 4 world endangered species can be met: Anthemis regis-borisii, Arenaria rigida, Dianthus nardiformis, Verbascum purpureum. The rarest from these species is Arenaria rigida and Protected area Pobiti Kamani is the only place in Bulgaria where it can be seen.