Limonium mansanetianum (M.B Crespo & M.D Lledó)
Saladilla (Limonium mansanetianum) is a species of perennial plant from the Plumbaginaceae family, with a green or slightly grayish tone, which reaches 50 to 70 cm in height. It is very branched and has lax spikes of violet flowers. It blooms between July and September, although it is common to see flowering specimens in the first months of autumn.
It is a very rare plant, which grows exclusively in a small area that includes some areas of the municipalities of Manuel, Castelló, Alcudia, in the Ribera Alta region, and Xàtiva, in the Costera region. In these municipalities it appears as part of the bushes and meadows that are made in the outcrops of marl and red gypsum clays of the Keuper and in the soils derived from these, with appreciable edaphic humidity and generally on slopes or gently sloping terrain, always very sunny. . It is part of gypsophilous albardinares of thermo-Mediterranean areas under locally dry ombroclimate, together with Lygeum spartum, Dactylis hispanica, Chamaeleon gummifer, Ononis tridentata var. edentula, Anthyllis cytisoides, Hyparrhenia sinaica or Eryngium campestre. As a secondary habitat, it profusely colonizes roadsides, slopes and margins, and crop fields where it can coexist with weed and ruderal taxa.
The majority of individuals are concentrated in a single population (Font Amarga) made up of several dispersed nuclei, this being the only one that manages to occupy, and only partially, the most natural habitats for the taxon.
Because it is a Valencian endemism that has few populations, some of them with serious threats of disappearance, it is currently a plant that is included in the “Vulnerable” category, according to DECREE 70/2009, of May 22, of the Consell , by which the Valencian Catalog of Endangered Flora Species is created and regulated.
Limonium mansanetianum was described as a new species in 1998, although there was a herbarium sheet from 1966 that Dr. José Mansanet collected it for the first time in Montortal, a town where it is currently extinct, to whose memory this species was dedicated.
It is a plant of great conservation interest, which is why currently, the technicians of the Biodiversity Service of the Ministry of Environment, Water, Urban Planning and Housing, carry out constant monitoring and study of all known populations of the plant in order to ensure its conservation.