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Photo Exhibition “The Mysterious Flowers of the Eastern Rhodopes”

“The Mysterious Flowers of the Eastern Rhodopes” is the title of the exhibition that the Bulgarian-Dutch New Thracian Gold (NTG) project organized at the Festival “The Mysteries of Huhla”on 14 July in the village of Huhla, Ivaylovgrad Municipality.

Fifteen photos from Hristo Hristo and Stefan Avramov, NTG experts on wildlife and biodiversity, and Tsvyatko Apostolov showed the orchids that occur in the Eastern Rhodopes.

 Most people associate orchids with the tropical countries and a few only know that they also bloom in Bulgaria. In the Eastern Rhodopes and especially, in the area of Ivaylovgrad, you can see almost 30 species of orchids. Among them are the Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionaceaе) listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria, the Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and the Bee Orchid (Ophris cornuta). In Bulgaria, the Sword-leaved Helleborine orchid (Cephalanthera epipactoides) only occurs in this area of the Eastern Rhodopes

Each orchid is a microcosm, says the coordinator of wildlife nature in New Thracian Gold Hristo Hristov. Their various colors are occurring in parallel with the development of insects pollinating them. In some cases the linked evolution has led to the unique symbiosis that the pollination of certain orchids can only be achieved by a single insect species. The symbiosis with microscopic fungi that penetrate the roots provides or assists their food supplies. If the pollinating insect or the microscopic fungi disappears, the orchid cannot survive.

Due to the sensitivity to changes in the environment, their beauty and specific biological features the orchids enjoy high priority in nature conservation. For the protection of the wild orchids in the Eastern Rhodopes the areas "Likana" and "Dupkata" near Ivaylovgrad are declared protected.

 

See here photos from the Festival and the exhibition

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