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Fields of Rhodope silivriak (Haberlea rhodopensis)
Fields of Rhodope silivriak (Haberlea rhodopensis) The scientific name of the silivriak is Haberlea rhodopensis. It was named after its founder – the Hungarian botanist Emerih Frivalski. The genus name is that of the botanist Ha-berle and the species name that of the Rhodopes mountains, where the plant was found for the first time. That’s why another name it is known with is Rodopka. Silivriak is a relict species from the end of the Tertiary period. At that time its habitat included Europe and Asia. Presently it can only be seen in Bulgaria and northern Greece, for which it is designated as a Balkan endemite. At the beginning of the Ice Age the plant died in many places. It has gone safe only in rocky and shadowy areas, humid and deep gorges. During its fight for survival it has developed specific biological techniques. One of the most important is the ability to go to anabiosis (fake death) at harsh conditions, to remain as long as necessary in that state and come to life again at better conditions. The research of the Bulgarian scientist Ivan Ganchev has shown that the silivriak can stay dry for 31months and at proper conditions to retain its vital functions. Up to now the mechanism of how that happens remains a mystery to science. Few fields of silivriak are registered on the territory of Ardino municipality, two of which are protected. The first is close to Diadovci village and was designated as protected in 1978. It includes 0.1ha and is located on the right shadowy rocky slope of Arda river. In 1979 the field near Lubeno village (Guilich area) was also designated as protected. Its area is 0.1ha and is situated close to the Hladilnata cave on a northern rocky slope. Silivriak can also be found close to the “Krivus” fortress and on the steep humid slopes of Arda river near Bashevo village. Note: The place is suitable for tourism.
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