Trifolium heldreichianum

(Trifolium heldreichianum)
It may form large colonies locally. However, the total size of its population on Mt. Paggaio is not large.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

It has been recorded near the mountain peaks, at altitudes greater than 1,800 m asl., in subalpine grasslands. This means that the area in which the species spreads is quite restricted.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

It may form large colonies locally. However, the total size of its population on Mt. Paggaio is not large. Perennial, herbaceous plant, short, up to 30 cm. Its leaves are compound and, as its name suggests, they consist of three leaflets, leathery in texture, with protruding nerves on the lower surface. The flowers are pinkish to violet, forming dense inflorescences, called heads. Species of the genus Trifolium (commonly known as clovers) are widely known as valuable forage plant species. The reason is that the forage they produce is of high nutritional value to the animals, but in species that appear scattered, as in the case of Trifolium heldreichianum, the produced forage is limited. However, many species of the genus form “carpets” on the ground (densely caespitose species), thus protecting soil from erosion. Moreover, due to their symbiosis with nitrogen bacteria (observed in all legumes), they enrich the soil with nitrogen, improving its fertility. It is a Balkan endemic, common of mountain grasslands (between 1,500-1,900 m asl.), while it can occur in places up to 500 m or rarely up to 100 m. It usually occurs on limestone, but can also be found in siliceous geological substrates. It flowers during the summer and specifically from mid-June until July. In sites where the conditions are colder, the flowering can be extended until the end of August.

On Mt. Paggaio, no impacts were observed, which could cause a decrease in its population. However, any action that could cause disturbance in the area of the peaks of Mt. Paggaio would probably reduce its population.

Conservation status

Conservation state

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