Ikarian Asperula (Asperula icarica)

/ / Trees and Shrubs

Description

Asperula icarica belongs to the Family Rubiaceae. There are many species within the genus Asperula, many of which are native to specific locations. It is a low lying shrub with dense, coarse hair (1) and small linear leaves. The flowers are small, without any flower cups. Their corollas are tube-shaped and open in four lobes which turn deep red when they are dry.

Life Cycle

Asperula icarica blooms in June (1).

Habitat

This species prefers steep cliffs, limestone areas and medium altitudes between 400 and 500 m (1).

Distribution

It is a native flower of Ikaria. It is found mainly within in the Atheras mountain chain to the south of the island, especially around the village of Plagia (1).

Conservation status

According to its Vulnerable standing on the IUCN the diffusion range of this species is less than 100 km (2).

Asperula icarica has an extremely low diffusion and is found in rather inaccessible habitat.  There is no information concerning the exact number or size of the population.  Thus any decline of the population or any degradation of the habitat, could put this plant in the category of endangered species (1).

References

Description translated by Natasa Palaiogewrgou (2009)

(1)   http://users.uoa.gr/~kgeorghi/files/archimedflora.pdf

(2)   IUCN (2009) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [online] Available:

http://www.iucnredlist.org [date accessed: 09/08/2009]