Echium russicum

Echium russicum


Црвена змијоглавка



Back to species overview
<< Previous -Floating Fern
Campanula patula-Next >>
Not evaluated Data deficient Least concern Near threatened Vulnerable ENDANGERED Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Echium russicum




Echium maculatum L.

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

EN – Endangered, B1ab(ii,iii,iv)+2ab(ii,iii,iv)

Date assessed

November 2019


Kostadinovski, M.


Čarni, A.


Matevski, V.

Ćušterevska, R.

Cvetkoska, C.


Hofman, M.P.G.


Echium russicum is rare in N. Macedonia, and occurs in only three locations. One location is near Gevgelija and is affected by making roads, fire and trampling. The second location is near Prilep (Kozjak) and is affected by mining activities. The third location is in Mariovo and at the moment is not exposed to direct human activities. The identified threats cause continuing decline in area of occupancy, quality of habitat and number of mature individuals.
According to EU Red List Assessment, this species is LC.


Current population trend



The number of individuals in different sites is variable (10-15 individuals/100m2).

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

Echium russicum is a biennial or perennial plant. It is found in hilly pastures, on rocks, among bushes, along roads, in degraded forests, between 400 and 1.200 meters. It prefers a limestone base, but also grows on silicate substrate.

Suitable habitat is grassland (4.4 Grassland-Temperate), but they may be present in shrublands (3.4 Shrubland –Temperate) (marginal occurrence).

Use and trade

Use and trade

In traditional medicine Echium russicum is used to heal wounds, osteomyelitis and hemorrhoids. Also, the plant is used as a remedy against snakebites, whilst the leaves were used in gynaecology, especially after giving birth (Batsatsashvili et all, 2016).

There are no data about the plant being collected or traded for any purpose in N. Macedonia.



The habitats of the E. russicum are in the belt of hilly pastures, where the major threat is the land conversion – mainly mining and fire, but to some extent, overgrazing. Threats of mining is particularly evident on the mountain Kozjak near Prilep, where intensive exploitation of marble poses a serious threat to fragmentation of populations in that area. The seriousness of this type of threats of Kozjak are pointed in some documents of Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning – “Strengthening the Ecological, Institutional and Financial Sustainability of Macedonia’s National Protected Areas System” (2009), National Strategy for protected of Nature (2016) etc.

In relation to mining, the construction of service roads of Kozjak  as well as forest roads are also threats. For example, the population near the v. Sermenin is almost destroyed by new forest road. 

The fires are often disturbing on the territory of North Macedonia, especially the belt of the hilly pastures where this species grows.

Today, excessive grazing is not a serious threat. On the contrary, it could be said that the recovery of scrub vegetation is a greater threat. However, the economic stagnation of the region can encourage the development of livestock breeding in the near future, which could become a threat.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

Echium russicum is listed in Annex II (animal and plant species of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation) of the Habitat Directive.

IUCN Red List status of threatened species for Europe for this species is “Least Concern”, and in Bulgarian Red List is “Vulnerable”.

E. russicum in N. Macedonia is a rare species. None of the populations of this species are included in any protected area, but in the future there is a possibility, populations from Mariovo and/or from Gevgelija to be included in Natura2000 sites. The mountain Kozjak (near Prilep) is proposed as a protection area (National Spatial Plan).

The success of conservation on this species in N. Macedonia depends firstly of providing data on the biology and real condition of its populations. In addition, it is necessary to identify any possible threats. Based on this it will be possible to develop an appropriate conservation action plan. An important part of the action plan should be conducting monitoring of trends in populations and the habitats in which species occurs. In addition, it is necessary to identify any possible threats and based on this knowledge to take appropriate conservation measures for protection.



Matevski, V. 2010. Flora na Republika Makedonija. MANU. Skopje, 2(1): 1-190. .p 1-190.

Bornmüller, J. 1928. Beiträge zur Flora Mazedoniens III. .p 1-196.

Bornmüller. 1932. Bearbeitung der von H. Burgeff und Th. Herzog in den Kriegsjahren 1916/18 in Mazedonien gesammelten Pflanzen III. .p 337-362.

Herzog, Th. 1922. Botanische Studien eines Frontsoldaten in Macedonien . .p 8–23.

Matevski, V., Čarni, A., Ćušterevska, R., Kostadinovski, M., Mucina, L. 2015 Syntaxonomy of the rocky grasslands on carbonate bedrocks in the west and southwest of the Republic of Macedonia. .p 1197-1214.

Soška, Th. 1939. Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Schluchten floren von Südserbien, II . .p 35-58.

Batsatsashvili K, Mehdiyeva N, Fayvush G, Kikvidze Z, Khutsishvili M, Maisaia I, Zambrana NYP. 2016. Echium maculatum L. Boraginaceae. Springer International Publishing. .p 1-4.