Astragalus angustifolius

(Astragalus angustifolius)
With a large number of individuals on Mount Paggaio. It is a perennial, low shrub, with stems up to 20 cm tall.
Sophia Siggiridou and Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

It grows on sunny places, but also places disturbed by man. It is found in mountain meadows, sparse shrublands (mainly juniper) and road sides, usually over 1,200 m asl. It has been observed in a large number of places around the mountain.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

With a large number of individuals on Mount Paggaio. It is a perennial, low shrub, with stems up to 20 cm tall. Its most characteristic feature is its shape. Its symmetry is impressive, as none of its dense branches protrude. Even under cultivation, where plants are not stressed, the shape will be the same as when it grows in natural habitats. It looks like a pillow. It is short, with a significant width, and its circumference seems to lean gently towards the ground. You should know that it is very inconvenient to lie on it as it is densely thorny. The leaves are compound (with 6-10 pairs of leaflets), ending in a hard thorn. The flowers are white, forming inflorescences resembling a bunch of grapes. The fruit is like a small bean. It flowers from June to July. The plant is fully adapted to areas with intensive grazing. It is avoided by herbivores and farm animals, due to its hard thorns. It is an excellent beekeeping plant. A common species of high altitudes, in places with extremely low soil depth and minimum water holding capacity. Annual precipitation may be satisfactory, as numerical values, but in the area, they fall either as snow, i.e., in a form that is not exploitable for plants, or at the wrong time of the year. This lack of water is mitigated by its form. Its leaves are arranged in such a way that they act as a mantle, holding the water, which evaporates from the soil and from the plant itself. At the same time, the leaves function as heat traps (like greenhouses), raising the inside temperature up to 15οC, in relation to the atmospheric. In addition, its special form mitigates the drying effect of the wind and is a trap of nutrients.

Due to its relatively wide distribution on Mount Paggaio, no particular threats and pressures were observed or reported, which could lead to a significant reduction in its population.

Conservation status

Conservation state

It is not subjected to any national or international conservation status.