One of the most important and, unfortunately, endangered plants in Crete is the beautiful white sand lily, which grows on seaside dunes and blooms on autumn. In many areas, you’ll find beaches with demarcated areas for the protection of lillies. Moreover, the visitors will be impressed by the thousands of young cyclamens growing in the shades of forests.
The white sand lily (scient. Pancratium maritimum), also known as sea daffodil, amaryllis, lily of Knossos, saffron or crocus is a charming plant that overwhelms the dunes of Crete from August to October. Unfortunately, in recent years its population has been limited to a few beaches, due to the shrinking of its habitats. Thus, the lily is today considered as endangered species and is protected by Greek and international legislation.
The cretan cyclamen belongs to the family of Primoulides. In many places of Greece, cyclamens are also called "hiropsomο" (i.e. bread for pig), because their roots are eaten by pigs. They grow in the middle of autumn between rock fissures or in the rubble.