Astracantha aitosensis or Genger, as it is commonly known, is a Bulgarian endemic and relict plant included in the latest edition of the Red Book of Bulgaria as "endangered" species. It is a low twiggy bush about 30-50 cm in hight. The leaves are complicated, 4-5 pairs, only 1 to 1.6 cm long. They have lanceolate shape, at the top are pointed like thistle. The flowers are also small, pale yellow located at the bottom of the leafy recesses. It blooms from June to July. What makes it such a significant species is the only place in the world it can be found - the rocky and dry hills around the town of Aitos. The entire world population of the species is situated in this area and occupies only 1222.5 ha. In the plants textbooks this plant is described as typical of the Asia Minor steppes. The view of the Aitos hills actually resembles closely the landscape of the half-steppes and the plants resemble miniature acacias from the African savannas with their top branches.
/ PhD. Svetla Dalakchieva