Original paper

Centaurea phrygia subsp. phrygia as a German polemochore in Sor-Varanger, NE Norway, with notes on other taxa of similar origin

Alm, Torbjørn Piirainen; Often, Anders


Centaurea phrygia subsp. phrygia has been recorded at eight stations in Sør-Varanger municipality, NE Norway, at 69°32'-69°43' N. All these stations are close to the sites of German World War II barracks and stables. The species has also been recorded at a single site in the neighbouring Russian municipality of Pechenga, within the area occupied by the German army during World War II; this is the only station in the Kola peninsula. All records are postwar (1958-2007). This strongly suggests that C. phrygia subsp. phrygia is a polemochore. It has probably been introduced with hay imported from Central Europe by the German army in 1941 to 1944. Still extant at six sites in 1999-2007, the species has survived in the area for more than 60 years. Together with numerous other “exotic” polemochorous species, C. phrygia subsp. phrygia forms a lasting memory of former German and Russian war activities in the area. Many of these taxa are rare in Norway, including several with few or no other stations in northern Fennoscandia. A list of German and Russian polemochores is included.


german and russian polemochoreslong-distance anthropogenic dispersal