Cretan Flora


Cretan Cephalanthera
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The Cretan cephalanthrera (Cephalanthera cucullata) is an endemic species of orchid that grows exclusively in the mountain forests of Crete, at an altitude of 700-1500m. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with short, creeping rhizomes. Its height reaches up to 20cm and it develops up to 24 whitepinkish flowers from May to June, but it does not bloom every year. In late June the seeds ripen and the aboveground plant parts dry.

The protected Cephalanthera is in immediate danger of extinction because it is found in small and sparse populations and is threatened by grazing.

In Kamares area (Heraklion prefecture) an area of ​​2 acres with cephalanthera has been declared as a monument of nature, while in Koustogerako (Chania) an area of ​​120 acres has been designated as a micro-reserve for the species.

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