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Time of the Rhodope haberlea

Spring is the season for Rhodope haberlea. Recently, the team  working on  the Crossbill nature guidebook to the Eastern Rhodopes found the flower on a rock near the  dam lake of  Kardzhali.

Before the Ice age this special plant  grew in a large area of  Europe and parts of Asia, but nowadays, it is restricted to  Bulgaria and Northern Greece only.

In 1835, the Hungarian botanist Imre Frimaldski reported about it for the very  first time. As its location he mentioned Rumelia, Rhodope Mountain. A year later the flower was discovered in the Stara Planina Mountain. Frimaldski named it after his teacher Carl Haberle and the Rhodope Mountain.

Rhodope haberlea is a cult flower of the Thracians. It  shows some  characteristics of anabiosis, a state of suspended animation as can be seen in certain organisms which are able to survive long periods of drought. The legend tells that the Haberlea was born from Orpheus blood. It is also called The flower of Orpheus.

There are four officially registered locations of Rhodope haberlea near the town of Kardzhali – in the area of the villages of Dyadovtsi, Lyubino, Prileptsi and Rabovo that have the status of nature sites.

See here more about the flora of the Eastern Rhodopes


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