|Iris elegantissima Sosn.|
EN B 1 ab(i,ii,iii,iv) + 2 ab(i,ii,iii,iv)
Category. Endangered species. The area of distribution is fragmented. The main population is situated in the surroundings of Yerevan, the part of which has already penetrated within the city boundaries and disappeared. The extent of occurrence is less than 5000 km2, the area of occupancy is less than 500 km2. It was included in the first edition of the Red Data Book of Armenia under Category 3: Reducing species. It is not included in the Annexes of CITES and that of the Bern Convention.
Description. Rhizomatous perennial herb. Stem 10–35 cm. Leaves amplexicaul, falcate. Flowers large; external lobes of perianth limb 6–8 cm in diameter, densely covered with dark brown veins and small spots, with large ronded black velutinous spot in the centre; inner ones 6–8 cm in diameter, usually creamy or white, with thin violet veins. Highly ornamental plant.
Distribution. In Armenia it is distributed in Shirak, Yerevan, Aparan, Aragats and Sevan floristic regions. EOO is 4930 km2, AOO is 88 km2, the number of locations is 5. Besides Armenia the species grows in North–West Iran (Maku) and East Anatolia.
Ecological, biological and phytocoenological peculiarities. Grows in lower and middle mountain belts, at the altitudes of 750–2000 meters above sea level, on dry rocky, marl slopes, on the red clays of the Tertiary period, in semi–desert, among phryganoid vegetation, in the mountain steppe. Flowering from April to June, fruiting from June to July.
Limiting factors. Loss/degradation of habitats caused by urbanization, land development for arable purposes, intensive collection for selling.
Conservation actions. The species grows in the area of "Sevan" National Park, "Erebuni" and "Khosrov" State Reserves. Necessary: monitoring of the population state, as well as to insert in the sphere of floriculture.
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Red Data Book of Armenia SSR, 1989; Gabrielyan E.Ts., 2001Compiler. M.E. Oganesian