RARE, PROTECTED AND ENDEMIC FLOWERS OF THE KATHARO PLAIN

The following list contains all the flowers that are rare, protected, endangered and endemic to Crete that can be found on the Katharo plain.
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The list includes species that are mentioned by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh) in their list of threatened, protected, rare and other rare plant species. (Click for explanations)
Aethionema saxatile ssp. creticum:- W. and C. Mediterranean from Spain to Greece, including Crete, Sardinia and Sicily. A plant of rocky and stony habitats in hills and mountains.


Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Agrostemma githargo:- An archaeophytic annual weed. Becoming less widespread throughout the mediterranean because of modern farming practices and herbicides. Probably only native in the E. Mediterranean. On Crete it  known only from a few isolated locations where traditional agricultural practices are still employed. Fairly large numbers can still be found at the eastern end of the Katharo plain.
Alisma lanceolatum:- A native to Eurasia and North Africa, it is widespread around the Mediterranean but confined to the marshy habitats that it requires to thrive. Rare particularly in east Crete, but it can be found on the Katharo plain, growing in the sumps that have been excavated as part of the irrigation system, which can retain enough moisture during early summer for the plants to survive and reproduce.
Asperula arvensis:- An archaeophytic, annual weed of traditionally cultivated land. Fairly common and widespread around the Mediterranean, but very rare on Crete known only from the Katharo and Lassithi plains.
Arum idaeum:- Strictly a high mountain Cretan endemic species, quite common In calcareous woodland,  and level, clayey bottoms of dolines from 900 m upwards in all the high mountain massifs Lefki Ori, Kedros, Psiloritis, Dikti and Afendis Kavousi.
Asperula rigida:- A Cretan endemic shrublet of dry rocky habitats and cliffs from sea level to 2000 m. It has stiff, much-branched stems with ephemeral leaves and small, white, yellow, pink or reddish flowers

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Astragalus creticus:- A Cretan endemic that grows in the high mountains on open, calcareous rocky slopes and in the level clayey bottoms of dolines usually between 1200 m and 2200 m

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Bupleurum subovatum:- Although this plant is fairly widespread across the Mediterranean it was previously unrecorded on Crete. I (Steve Lenton) discovered it on the Katharo plain in June of 2009 growing on very poor arable land.
Campanula pelviformis:- Endemic to east Crete that grows on calcareous cliffs & stony slopes, thickets, steep roadside banks (0-950 m).

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Campanula spatulata ssp. filicaulis:- A Cretan endemic of phrygana, rocky places, screes, often growing through dwarf spiny shrubs (50-1600 m).

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Carlina curetum ssp. curetum:- An endemic subspecies found in the Lefka Ori, Psiloritis and Dikti massifs where it grows in calcareous garigue, phrygana, rocky places and level, clayey doline bottoms between 300 m and 2100 m.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Centaurea raphanina ssp. raphanina:- Endemic to Crete & Karpathos. Widespread and common and very much a facultative chasmophyte, growing in a wide variety of habitats including cliffs, rock crevices, old stone walls, rocky phrygana, bare, stony ground and the level, clayey bottoms of dolines throughout the entire altitudinal range of the island.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Cirsium morinifolium:- A high mountain Cretan endemic that grows between 1100 m and 2100 m in the Lefka Ori, Kedros, Psiloritis and Dikti massifs.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Centaurea idaea:- Is a common and widespread Cretan endemic species. It has bright yellow florets and long spinose appendages on the involucral bracts, with well-developed basal leaf rosettes at flowering time. It grows in rock crevices, phrygana, stony ground and level, clayey doline bottoms over a wide altitudinal range, from sea level up to the highest peaks, flowering from April to October.
Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Centaurea solstitialis:- (Yellow star thistle) widespread Mediterranean species which has become a noxious weed when introduced to other parts of the world (such as the United States) but is very rare in Crete.
Colchicum cretense:- Essentially the high-altitude vicariant of C. pusillum, found mainly between 1200 m and 2300 m in the Lefka Ori, Psiloritis and Dikti massifs. It is very similar to C. pusillum in appearance but has larger anthers (2.5—4.5 mm vs 1.5-3 mm). Although it mainly flowers in autumn, it has been seen in flower in May.
Conservation status (for threatened species):
Protection status (for threatened species):
Corydalis uniflora:- A Cretan endemic of the high mountains, known from the Lefka Ori, Psiloritis and Dikti massifs as well as the summit area of Kedros, between 1350 m and the highest peaks.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Crepis auriculifolia:- An endemic facultative chasmophyte, widespread but rare, growing between 200 m and 2200 m, but mainly found in the higher mountains.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece (1995) - Near Threatened according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Crocus oreocreticus:- A Cretan endemic found in open places in the mountains, up to at least 2000 m. It has not been found in western Crete but it is fairly common through the central Psiloritis and the Dikti mountains. The furthest east it has been found is in the Afendis Kavousi mountains.
Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Cuscuta atrans:- A Cretan endemic which occurs in the Lefka On and Dikti massifs (maybe also in Psiloritis) on open, calcareous, rocky ground between 1400 m and 2150 m. It parasitizes spiny, dwarf shrubs such as Astracantha cretica, Satureja spinose and Verbascum spinosum. The stems are red and the flowers whitish, appearing in July and August.
Cyanus depressus:- Limited distribution across the Mediterranean. Previously unrecorded on Crete, known only from the Katharo plain. I (Steve Lenton) discovered this flower in June 2009. It has put in the occasional appearance since. Very rare.
Draba cretica:- The species is endemic to the main mountain massifs of Crete, from 1100 m up to the highest summits.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Geranium tuberosum ssp. tuberosum:- This Mediterranean archaeophytic weed of cultivated and fallow fields, is rare on Crete and known only from a few locations including the katharo and Lassithi plains.
Hypericum amblycalyx:- Is a chasmophyte endemic to eastern Crete, where it occurs from sea level up to 1000 m

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Inula candida:- Endemic to the Crete and Kithira, where it grows on calcareous cliffs and rocks at montane or higher altitudes (800-2000m),.


Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Lactuca alpestris:- A dwarf lettuce relative endemic to Crete, where it is found mainly in the high mountain massifs above 900 m, rarely descending to 100 m. It grows on rocky slopes, in dwarf shrub communities, calcareous garigue, screes and rubble, producing its showy capitula, each with a few spreading, bright yellow ray florets, from June to October.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Leontice leontopetalum:- N. Africa, Crete and SE Balkans eastwards, including Cyprus. A perennial geophyte with a deeply buried tuber. It is an archaeophytic weed of cultivation, found in cultivated, fallow and abandoned land up to 1100 m, Rare and localized in Crete known from only a few locations including the Katharo and Lassithi plains.
Lysimachia serpyllifolia:- Endemic to Crete, C. and S. Greece. Widespread in Crete, mainly in the mountains above 500 m, and also occurs in other parts of central and southern Greece.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Muscari spreitzenhoferi:- A widespread Cretan endemic, that grows in natural habitats including calcareous rock crevices, phrygana, level, clayey, doline bottoms and maritime sands up to 2200 m.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Onopordum bracteatum ssp. creticum:- A cretan endemic of rocky and stony habitats, roadsides, mainly in the hills and mountains.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Origanum dictamnus:- A Cretan endemic chasmophyte of calcareous cliffs, once endangered and rare is now making a comeback thanks to its ability to be cultivated.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Vulnerable according to the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece (1995) Vulnerable according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981,
Origanum microphyllum:- Endemic to Crete, primarily known from the Lefka Ori and Dikti massifs, where it grows in open woodland, garigue, rocky places and crevices up to 1800 m

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Ornithogalum nutans:- Its native distribution is from Bulgaria and Greece to Turkey, but it is naturalized in many other parts of Europe. An archaeophytic weed it is found growing in olive groves, grassy and fallow fields and cultivated ground between 450 m and 1100 m, Very limited distribution on Crete known from only a few locations including the Katharo plain.
Paeonia clusii ssp. clusii:- Endemic to Crete and Karpathos it grows in calcareous woodland, scrub, garigue and rocky places between 350 m and 1600 m in the Dikti and Lefka Ori massifs it also occurs in the Psiloritis massif, where it is apparently much less common.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Vulnerable according to IUCN 1997.
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981.
Petromarula pinnata:- Endemic to Crete, widespread and common, growing on calcareous cliffs, steep banks, old stone walls and in rocky and shady places from sea level to about 1350m

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Phlomis lanata:- A endemic common to central and eastern Crete.

Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981.
Prunella cretensis:- A Cretan endemic mainly of natural habitats, such as open, stony ground and clayey doline bottoms. Formally believed to be restricted to the Lefka Ori, Psiloritis and Dikti massifs.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Prunus prostrata:- Spain and N Africa to Turkey and the Near East. It grows on open, calcareous, rocky slopes and in flat, clayey doline bottoms above 1300 m in the main mountain massifs.

Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981.
Ranunculus creticus:- Endemic to the Aegean and SW. Turkey. Although fairly widespread and common on Crete it enjoys protection by Greek Presidential Decree.

Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Scorzonera cretica:- Endemic to Crete and the Aegean. It grows not only as a chasmophyte but also in rocky phrygana and maritime sands, from sea level to 1400 m. It is common in eastern Crete, but seems restricted to the southern side in the centre of the island, and is rarer still in the west, known only from a few localities mostly on the southern coast.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Sedum caespitosum:- Dry hillsides and rocky ground with limited distribution across the Mediterranean. Known from a few places in central and eastern Crete including the Katharo plain.
Silene antri-jovis:- This Cretan endemic is a mat- or cushion-forming perennial of calcareous cliffs, rock  crevices, rocky slopes, screes and level clayey doline bottoms mostly between 750m and 2200m. It is endemic to the mountains of central and eastern Crete,

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Staehelina petiolata:- An obligate chasmophyte endemic to and widespread in Crete (although rarer in the east of the island), occurring between 100 m and 1450 m. Small capitula with pale pink florets are borne from June to August.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Telephium imperati ssp. Pauciflorum:- A Cretan endemic known from the five highest massifs.
Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Teucrium alpestre:- Endemic to Crete it is widespread on the island, growing in a variety of dry habitats from sea level up to 2200m.

Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Torilis arvensis ssp. purpurea:- Italy and Sicily eastwards, including Crete and Cyprus. Very limited distribution on Crete known from only a few arable locations including the Katharo plain.
Tulipa cretica:- A widespread common Cretan endemic that grows in calcareous phrygana, open slopes, cliffs, crevices, rocky places and screes from sea level to 2000m. Though common it still enjoys protection under Greek Presidential Decree.

Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Tulipa saxatilis:- This species is scattered around Crete and also occurs in Karpathos, the eastern Aegean island of Rodos and south-western Turkey.

Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Vicia cretica:- Widespread in phrygana and rocky places up to 1000m. Its general distribution extends from south-eastern Greece, through the southern Aegean, to south-western Asia. Another common plant that for some reason enjoys protection under Greek Presidential Decree.

Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Vincetoxicum creticum:- Once thought endemic to the Dikti massif, but in 1994 a widely disjunct population was found on Mount Krioneritis, an eastern outlier of the Lefka Ori.

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Viola cretica:- A Cretan endemic which grows in woodland, stony mountain pastures, on shady stream banks and by springs over a broad altitudinal range (100-1800m).

Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare (R) according to IUCN 1997
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 7/1981
Solenopsis minuta ssp. minuta:- Occurs in the Mediterranean region, but is rare in Crete, it is known from a few scattered localities at generally higher altitudes (450-1300 m), including the Katharo plain.
Scilla nana ssp. albescens:- Endemic to the Kedros, Psiloritis, Dikti and Afendis Kavousi massifs.
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981
Scutellaria hirta:- A Cretan endemic which grows in calcareous rock crevices, rubble and screes in the Lefka Ori, Kedros, Psiloritis, Dikti and Afendis Kavousi massifs between 800 m and the highest peaks.
Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh
Scutellaria sieberi:- A widespread Cretan endemic of the lowlands and calcareous cliffs, crevices, ledges, rocky places and screes from sea level up to about 1000 m., flowering from April to June.
Included in 'Other Rare Plant Species'.by MAICh