Astragalus xiphidium: Red Data Book of Armenia

EN B 1 ab(i,ii,iii,iv) + 2 ab(i,ii,iii,iv)

Category. Endangered species. Endemic of Transcaucasia. The extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are less than 500 km2. Grows in land development zone. It was not included in the first edition of the Red Data Book of Armenia. It is not included in the Annexes of CITES and that of the Bern Convention.

Description. Semishrub with low lignose branched trunk, 30–60 cm. Greyish–green plants, densely covered with adpressed bipartite hairs. Leaves 3–6 cm long; leaflets 3–5–paired, narrowly linear, 6–20 cm long. Peduncles exceeding the leaves. Inflorescence loose. Calyx tubular, 13– 15 mm long; teeth much shorter than tube. Corolla 20–25 mm long; upper half of petals white, basal one pinkish–lilac. Legumes linear–subulate, 3–6,5 cm long, horizontal or spreading, straight or curved.

Distribution. In Armenia it grows in Zangezur (Darbas gorge, Zorats Karer, surroundings of Shamb village) floristic region. EOO is 20 km2, AOO is 12 km2, the number of locations is 2. Besides Armenia the species grows in Nakhichevan, Central and East Transcaucasia, Talish.

Ecological, biological and phytocoenological peculiarities. Grows in middle mountain belt, at the altitudes of 1300–1800 meters above sea level, in the steppes, on dry stony slopes. Flowering from June to July, fruiting from July to August.

Limiting factors. Restricted extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, loss/degradation of habitats caused by land development.

Conservation actions. No conservation actions. Necessary: establishment of new specially protected nature area in the region Sisian, monitoring of the population state.

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