Centaurea forojuliensis Poldini
It belongs to the Compositae family and it generally blooms from August to October. It has got a red-violet flowering stem, 1 metre high, branched in the upper half with thin branches and typical sickle-shaped linear lanceolate leaves.
The basal leaves are bigger, slightly fleshy with long leaf-stalks.
Among the Centaurea jacea specimens, this species is characterized by the reduced leaf surface, a typical feature of the plants living in dry habitats. In this case it is probably due to the lack of nutrients in the peaty soils.
It is an endemic species of the low plain of Friuli, described in 1977 from specimens from the Ribosa peat bog, which was nearly completely destroyed a few years later. The species, in the project area, occurs in the Schoenus nigricans alkaline fens and shares the habitat with other endemic species such as Armeria helodes and Erucastrum palustre. It is also present in the wet coastal meadow.
This species, too, is suffering the falling of the water table in the plain and various specimens, well-known in the '80s and '90s, are now extinct. The surviving areas have only few specimens and are neatly separated by intensive farming areas.
G. Bolognini ©