Carpinus orientalis

(Carpinus orientalis )
It forms scrubs with a large number of individuals.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

On Mt. Paggaio it appears in various areas. In some places it is the most common shrub species, while in other areas it is mixed with other broadleaved tree species or shrubs. It is found at altitudes of 300-1,400 m asl.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

It forms scrubs with a large number of individuals. It is a deciduous shrub or rarely a small tree up to 12 m tall. Its leaves are ovate to elliptical, 3-5 cm long, with double serrated edges. On the upper surface, they are dark green, with hairs on the middle vein, while on the lower surface they are light green, with hair along the veins. Female and male flowers form separate groups (catkins), hanging from the branches. Inflorescences can be seen from April to May. The rounded to oval fruits (nuts) appear during the late summer months (July-August), distinguished by the bars on their outer surface. Fruits are subtended by an asymmetrical, ovate involucre with irregularly serrated edges. It is a species with low demands on the soil quality. It grows quite well on limestones, while it can withstand even the harsh conditions prevailing in places rich in rocks and stones. It succeeded and prevailed in areas where extensive oak forests existed in the past, due to excessive logging. However, C. orientalis declined in areas of high human impact, where other, more resilient, shrub species prevailing.

Due to its relatively wide distribution on Mount Paggaio and its ability to pre-germinate after disturbances (e.g., forest fires), the species should not be considered as endangered.

Conservation status

Conservation state

Although C. orientalis is not subjected to any national or international conservation status, the scrubs it forms with Ostrya carpinifolia are typical species of the 925A habitat type: “Forests of Ostrya carpinifolia, Carpinus betulus and mixed thermophilous forests”. The main threats it faces are related to the intense logging and the effects of intense grazing by goats.