Habitat and Ecology
P. helenae has a narrow ecological range. It usually grows in association with Spiny Broom (Genista acanthoclada) and Thorny Burnet (Sarcopoterium spinosum) which typically characterize "phrygana" vegetation. This vegetation type is composed largely of spiny or aromatic dwarf shrubs, growing in lowland areas on dry soils. In Greece there are several types of phrygana, depending upon grazing pressure, the incidence of fires, exposure, soils and geology. A purple tulip, the Greek endemic Tulipa goulimyi, may also be found growing in the same areas as P. helenae. Related species are Polygala venulosa and P. supina, which are Balkan endemics.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1998Vulnerable (V)
Legally: This species is not included in any international conventions or national legislation.
In situ: No measures taken as of yet.
Ex situ: Cultivation from seeds and attempts to transplant this species from the wild into the Botanic Garden of the University of Patras have both failed.
Given that to date ex situ conservation efforts have been unsuccessful, it would seem that the best option to conserve this species is to protect and manage the area where it is known to occur. More fieldwork on Kithira is also needed to see if this species might occur in other areas.
- Latroú, G. 2006. Polygala helenae. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 August 2007.
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