Cretan Flora


Gladiolus italicus
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Gladiolus italicus is one of the most impressive flowers that decorates the fields of Crete in the late spring. It is distributed across southern Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean. In Crete it is called Maherida (knife plant) due to the purple and pink flowers that are oblong and sharp as knives. Their scientific name also means the same, as Gladius means sword in Latin. Gladiolus italicus is a perennial bulbous plant belonging to Irides while all the flowers form clusters and always are positioned in a row one above the other. Gladiolus italicus can reach a height of even one meter. The only risk it faces is the man as it is used for decorating the vases of the Cretan houses.

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