The unique tulip in the world, blooming in the Danube Gorge. The fine for destroying it is huge

Every year, from the end of March until May, a unique flower in the world blooms in Romania – the Cazane Tulip. The fragile plant colors yellow the rocky cliffs of the spectacular Gorge of Europe, only on the Romanian side of the Danube.

The only place where you can find the yellow rock tulip, as it is also known as “Tulipa hungarica”, is the Cazanele Mari – Cazanele Mici Reserve in the Portile de Fier Natural Park (SEE )where it can only be admired from the boat.

The Cazane Tulip has thus become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, approximately 6,000 specimens can be observed on the vertical cliffs every year, according to representatives of the Portile de Fier Natural Park. And the number is growing, say local people.

According to the biologist Amalia Dumbravă, its distribution area begins with the area of ​​the entrance to Cazanele Mari, respectively the Dubova Gulf, until near the Ponicova Cave (other sources mention the Veterani Cave) – the largest in the Danube Gorge, consisting of three storied galleries, in length of 1.7 km.

It grows up to 300 meters altitude, generally between 100 and 200 meters, over a distance of about half a kilometer. In the past, it was also found on the Ciucarului Mare Plateau, from where it disappeared due to massive harvesting by humans, but also on the Serbian coast.

Thanks to the interest of tourists to see this flower, the demand for cruises on the Danube and accommodation in the area is increased during this period, with many of the guesthouses having an occupancy rate of 100% on weekends.

The legends of Lalelai de Cazane

In 1882(4), the botanist of Hungarian origin Vincze von Borbás published, for the first time, in “Transilvania Association Sheet”, which appeared in Sibiu at the time, a material about this flower calling it “Tulipa hungarica”. And he also mentioned one of the legends that circulated around this plant, according to which a little girl chased away from home by her stepmother ended up in a wild area, on the banks of the Danube, and cried so much that her tears they turned into yellow tulips.

Another legend tells of a shepherd girl who was tending sheep on the Big Buckthorn and who fell in love with a shepherd. Because her parents did not let her marry, she threw herself into the Danube. In the fall from the rocks, pieces of her yellow clothes kept breaking off, which then changed into tulips, in her memory.

Two years later, after the publication of the material in the Sibiu newspaper, a Serbian scientist discovered it in the Serbian Big Cauldrons and named it the Đerdap Tulip, after the Serbian name of the Iron Gates Gorge on the Danube, the Derdap Gorge. But it disappeared from here for good from the middle of the 20th century. It is wanted to be reintroduced with the help of experts from the Iron Gates National Park in Romania.

It is considered the most outstanding floristic element in the Iron Gates Gorge, being an emblem of the Danube Boilers. Genetic analyzes were also carried out to prove that it is a separate species. According to the rangers of the Portile de Fier Natural Park, the habitat in which the Laleaua de Cazane lives is related to its position in relation to the sun.

Banatian tulip, a subspecies of the yellow rock tulip

There are several subspecies of Cazane's Yellow Tulip, among them the Banatian Tulip – “Tulipa hungarica undulatifolia” (Tulipa hungarica ssp.undulatifolia) – which, according to Romsilva specialists – Portile de Iron National Park, blooms in the same period in the Valea Oglănicului Nature Reserve, “in a rather small number, but which is maintained from year to year.”

And this, too, is unique. “The Banat tulip is a strictly protected species and unique in the world, and its conservation status is unfavorable, it requires special conservation measures, both in-situ, as much as possible and ex-situ and our colleagues from the Portile de Fier monitors it annually,” say the specialists. It is expected that this will also be designated as an independent species.

Some of the most expensive tulips in the world, in Romania

Laleau de Cazane is also carefully monitored. The yellow rock tulip is protected by the Bern Convention of 19 September 1979 and by Emergency Ordinance no. 57/2007, and is on the IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature – list created in 1964. This is the most complete inventory of the conservation status of animal and plant species, being the best indicator of the state of global biodiversity . Its destruction, in any form, is punishable by a fine of up to 15,000 lei.

The cauldron tulip is one of the unique flower species at the European or world level in our country. On the same list are the thermal water lilies that grow in Lake Ochiu Mare in Bihor, but also another species of tulip – the variegated tulip, found in the wet areas of the counties: Bistrița Năsăud, Gorj, Cluj, Timiș, Brașov, Botoșani, Vaslui, Suceava Fritillaria meleagris is also declared a monument of nature, being protected by Romsilva specialists.

What else can be visited in the Danube Gorge

The Iron Gates Natural Park, rightly called the largest naturalistic and archaeological museum in Europe, with a total area of ​​115,656 hectares, of which over 75,000 hectares are forests, is one of the 22 national and natural parks managed by the Regia National Forestry – Romsilva, being located in the southwest of Romania, in Caraș Severin and Mehedinți counties. It is considered “one of the most spectacular parks in terms of biodiversity, geological diversity, but also historical remains”, according to park specialists.

The Great Cauldrons, where the Yellow Rock Tulip is found, are about nine kilometers long. Also here, near Mraconia Bay, is the Figure of Decebalus carved into the rock, the highest stone sculpture in Europe (55 meters high and 25 meters wide).

In addition to the landscapes of rare beauty, in the area you can also admire: Tabula Traiana – Trajan's Table which is part of the set of Roman monuments on the Roman road through the Iron Gates, also carved in the rock, in a rectangular shape, and accompanied by a text in Latin, dedicated to the emperor Trajan; Cazanele Mici, Mânistrea Mraconia, Ciucarul Mare slope full of tulips in April, Grota Veterani and Ponicova Cave.

They can only be visited by water, with a boat (with some exceptions). The schedule of cruises on the Danube is established on a reservation basis, for each individual group, depending on requests. It is certain that in the spring Cazanele and Clisura put on festive clothes and become “instagrammable”.