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 woods 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 in Heraklion prefecture an area of ​​0.2 hectares with cephalanthera has been declared as a monument of nature, while in Koustogerako (near Sougia) an area of ​​12 hectares has been designated as a micro-reserve for the species. The wood of Rouvas is also a very important habitat of the species.

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