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During my brief stay in Romania I decided to take a trip to the fascinating region known as Dobrogea, in search for Paeonia peregrina var. romanica, a unique species of peony, which is not found anywhere else in the world.
The Dobrogean Plateau is a region situated in the South of the Danube delta, South-East of Romania. Despite its remarkable flora and fauna diversities, it is less known and protected. These habitats are also characterized by the occurrence of numerous nationally and globally threatened species.
Most of the Paeonia (Fam. Paeoniaceae) species are threatened or endangered in their native areas of origin by illegal deforestation, overgrazing, shepherding and human intervention.
Paeonia peregrina var. romanica is one of the most unique, scarce and most beautiful wild flowers of Romania. It differentiates from its ‘sister species’, Paeonia peregrina var. typica, which can be found in various other regions of the country, by the structure (anatomy) of its leaves and anthers.

So far its extremely rare endemic habitat has only been identified in the Dobrogea Plateau, Paeonia peregrina var. romanica being mentioned in the European Red List of Globally Threatened Animals and Plants (D46), 1991, Resolution 6/ 1996 - Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
It has been legally protected since the end of the WW II.

I found it hidden deep in the forests of Dobrogea, in full flower. It only lasts a couple of weeks, being completely gone by the end of May.

Paeonia peregrina var. romanica’s striking beauty lived up to the legends and folk tales widely known about this flower.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Europe
Subcategory Detail:Romania
Keywords:Danube, Danube, Dobrogea, Paeonia, Paeonia, Paeoniaceae, Romania, delta, endangered, forest, peony, peregrina, peregrina, plateau, river, romanica, travel, typica, var., var., wild

Paeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by the beetle Cetonia aurata, known as the rose chafer © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica being pollinized by wild bees © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.comPaeonia peregrina var. romanica in its natural habitat © Nora de Angelli/ www.noraphotos.com