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The region of Sfakia is a very interesting destination for study and observation of plants. The crowd steep and imposing canyon, the rocky peaks and generally the variety of landscapes and habitats contribute not only to the growth of many different plants and in the presence of several rare, threatened and endemic plants of Crete. The flora of Sfakia is characterized by a great variety of species and includes trees, alpine species, edible herbs, aromatic and medicinal herbs, orchids, shrubs phryganic, beach items, chasmophytes (plants that grow on cliffs) and others.

Alpine species

The rocky peaks of the White Mountains are home to many different species of plants and many of them are only found in the White Mountains. A plant owes its name to the region of Sfakia and is found at elevations of 1700 to 2400 meters is the kind Cynoglossum sphacioticum. It blooms from May to August and has small violet flowers. Many other important plants found in rocks of the White Mountains, like the kind Ranunculus radinotrichus, that blooms from April to July and has yellow flowers, kind Centranthus sieberi has pink flowers and blooms in the summer and a little cruel Garyfallos (Dianthus sphacioticus). Most common in the White Mountains is the kind Anchusa cespitosa, a cushion plant, endemic to the White Mountains with blue flowers that bloom from May to June.

Aromatic and medicinal plants and beekeeping

A number of aromatic, medicinal plants and apiculture meet our area. Some of these are endemic to Crete, as dittany (Origanum dictamnus) that grows on vertical cliffs and canyons and is used usually for tea, or Malotira Mountain tea (Sideritis syriaca subsp. Syriaca), which grows at altitudes above 800 measures and the Cretan Marjoram (Origanum microphyllum). The area has plenty of Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus), which is produced by high qualitative honey. Aromatic plants and apiculture is the Sage (Salvia pomifera), the Agkarathou (Phlomis cretica) and Thrympi (Satureja thymbra).


Much of the land of Sfakia are crops. The olive tree (Olea europea) cultivated for thousands of years, is the most common. To a lesser extent vines in various areas and potatoes Askifou. Large tracts of cultivated forage plants. Also there are two vegetable greenhouses in Fragokastello several fruit species, which are not systematically cultivated.

Edible plants

The collection and consumption of edible plants in our area is an old, common practice that continues today. Singles known chicory (Cichorium spinosum) that is found in plains and in coastal areas. The vyzites (Leontodon tuberosus), various kinds Maroulidis (Taraxacum spp.), The black mustard (Sinapis alba) and many other greens harvested and consumed.

Other species

From the rich flora of our region, it is worth mentioning a few more impressive species. One of the most beautiful flowers, the Peony (Paeonia clusii subsp. Clusii) that is found in only a few areas in mountainous and semi-mountainous zone. It is endemic in the southern Aegean, spring blooms and makes large white flowers. The bulb type Colchicum macrophyllum, endemic Eastern Aegean has large pink flowers and is found mainly in the autumn cultivated and uncultivated fields. Also, various types Crocuses grow in such kind Crocus laevigatus that blooms from November to January. Spring bloom and some types of irises like the kind Hermodactylus tuberosus and type Moraea sisyrinchium encountered at altitudes up to 900 m

Pine and cypress trees

An important area in the Sfakia area covered by sparse forests mainly pine (Pinus brutia) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens). Other features trees of these forests are Prina (Quercus coccifera) and maple (Acer sempervirens).

Plants found in canyons and cliffs

The many canyons of Sfakia, in turn, accommodate particular flora. Important species include the shrub Euphorbia sultan-hassei that blooms in early spring and Helichrysum heldreichii species that are endemic of western Crete, has yellow flowers and blooms in May and the Cretan 'Empenos (Ebenus cretica), endemic plant of Crete, with silverleaf foliage and pink flowers. Other species that grow in the canyons is Petrofyllia (Petromarula pinnata), several species of wild Garyfallos (Dianthus spp.), The narrow endemic Verbascum arcturus and Petrorhagia dianthoides and more. The species Centaurea poculatoris this is endemic of Crete, is included in the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece and spring blooms.

Rare and endangered species

One of the major types of Sfakia is the plant Nepeta sphaciotica took its name from the area. This is a very rare, aromatic shrub found only in one region in the world, north of Summit Svourichti the White Mountains at an altitude of 2300 meters. Equally important is the species Hypericum aciferum occurring only in the coastal cliffs between Sougias and Agia Roumeli and nowhere else in the world. It is a creeping shrub with yellow flowers that bloom from June until October. In Samaria Gorge and Imbros seen and rarely orchid Cephalanthera cucullata, endemic plant of Crete, with white flowers that bloom from May to June. The above items are included in the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece.


Apart from the Cretan Kefalanthero (Cephalanthera cucullata) several more species of orchids found in Sfakia. Some of these are the kinds Himantoglossum robertianum, Anacamptis pyramidalis, Orchis collina, Orchis italica, Orchis simia, Orchis lactea, Orchis papilionacea and Orchis quadripunctata