Flowers of Crete encourages interest in Crete's wild flowers
and promotes their conservation.
Flower of the month - June 2016
Cephelantera cucullata - Hooded cephalanthera
This very rare, endemic orchid can be found on all three of the main mountain ranges of Crete.
This beautiful bloom was photographed at a recently discovered site, which has not previously been recorded. A quick count of individual specimens showed that there were well over a hundred plants.
As the site is very remote, the colony appears to be relatively safe, unlike other known colonies that have been raided for collectors. There is cause to hope that this endangered orchid is not as rare as originally thought and that there are other sites where the plant is flourishing.
Due to the dry, warm winter, this and other late flowering orchids has been early, but, in 'normal' years, this stunning Cephelantera blooms in early to mid June.
More flowers month by month here.
Flower photos on Facebook
Julia Jones from Flowers of Crete has taken up a Facebook challenge to post
a flower photo every day for a week, choosing endemic flowers of Crete (naturally!). You can either go straight to our Facebook here, or see the individual posts on the following links:
Day 7 -
Himantoglossum samariense Cretan lizard orchid
Day 6 - Fritillaria messanensis ssp sphaciotica
Day 5 - Viola cretica
Day 4 - Ebenus creticus
Day 3 - Tulipa cretica
Day 2 -
Orchis papillionacea ssp alibertis a white form of the endemic butterfly orchid
Day 1 -
Paeonia clusii ssp clusii
Following Julia's seven flowers, Fotis
Samaritakis is also posting a flower a day. Also 'Winter Flowers of Hania' is a photoset by Fotis
to enjoy on Flowers of Crete's Facebook page.
Oliver Rackham 'commemorative symposium': to celebrate the life of landscape historian
and author of The Making of the Cretan Landscape, who died last year, there will be a commemorative symposium in the UK (Cambridge) in August 2016. More in news.
Botanic arts festival, April 2016 - an invitation to contribute. See news.
Bellevalia juliana: a new flower for Crete, named after Flowers of Crete founder, Julia Jones. More in news. Photoset of Bellevalia juliana by Stephen Lenton on Facebook start here.
Wild Orchid Conservation workshop, led by Phil Seaton and FoC's Julia Jones, 1st - 6th June 2015 in Hungary. More in news here >
Cretan fritillary is an endemic subspecies found only on the island, according to research at the University of Patras. See news here >
Conserving the Cretan Lizard Orchid. Himantoglossum
samariense (right) is one of Crete's most elusive and threatened plants. Julia Jones from Flowers of Crete describes recent efforts to find and protect it - read the full story here.
Flowers of Crete holidays and courses
Flowers of Crete holidays and courses 2016 are now open for bookings. Details of flower and orchid-finding trips in spring and summer plus autumn bulb finding are all on our holidays page. Food Foraging and Discovery Trips, and a botanic art workshop with Julia Jones in October 2016, are on our specialist holidays page.
Getting started with Crete's wonderful flowers
With some 1700 species of flowers native to Crete, of which 10 per cent are endemic, you may wonder where to start. One way is to click on the photos below. You can find out what these flowers are, and see our Flowers of Crete introductory web pages ...
Saving the Cretan Palm
The Cretan palm Phoenix theophrastii is found only on the coast of Crete and south-western Turkey, and on Crete is best known from Vai and Préveli.
The red palm weevil, sadly sometimes imported on cultivated palm species, is a serious threat to the near-endemic Cretan palm and every effort needs to be taken to try to stop its progress.
You can help by keeping an eye out of the weevil and its grubs and reporting news to Flowers of Crete.