Astragalus monspessulanus

(Astragalus monspessulanus)
The size of its total population on Mt. Paggaio is quite large. It is a perennial, herbaceous plant, without stem.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

Until now, it has been recorded above 800 m asl. Although it does not form large colonies, it occurs sporadically in a variety of habitats, making it relatively easy to locate.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

The size of its total population on Mt. Paggaio is quite large. It is a perennial, herbaceous plant, without stem. The leaves are compound, consisting of numerous small leaflets (more than 8 pairs), circular to oblong, with sparse hairs on the upper surface, glabrous below. Inflorescence pedicels with a length approximately corresponding to that of the leaves, and inflorescences consisting of 7-30 flowers. The flowers are characterized by a purple or red corolla, less often whitish. The fruit is characteristic; it has the shape of a bean (legume) and is slightly convex, rarely semicircular, 4.5 cm in length. The species of the genus Astragalus are mentioned by Dioscorides, who gave them the name αστράγαλος derived from the words αστήρ (star) and γάλα (milk), indicating the shape and color of the flowers of one or some of the species of the genus. The ancients attributed to species of the genus properties positive for livestock. In particular, they believed that when these plants were eaten by grazing animals, especially by goats, they would increase milk production. The name of this species comes from the French city of Montpellier, in the South of France, an area where it was first found. It is a Mediterranean plant, widely distributed in Greece, where it is found in rocky places, grasslands, bushes and road sides, from sea level up to 1,200 or even 1,800 m asl. We can find it in flower from April until June, depending on the altitude. Due to its beautiful inflorescences, it has aesthetic value and is used as an ornamental in various countries.

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

Conservation status

Conservation state

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