Cretan Tulips


Red Cretan Tulip
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The red tulip of Crete (Tulipa doerfleri) is an endemic tulip species of Crete that is exclusively at the small plateau of Gious Cambos, near Spili, at an altitude ranging from 700-800m. In spring (April) this small plateau is covered by a red carpet made of tulips. The species, because of its limited distribution, is considered endangered and has been protected by presidential decree since 1981.

It is similar to Tulipa orphanidea, but is a separate species. It is named after the Austrian botanist Ignaz Dörfler, who studied it in the early 20th century. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with a bulb, a leathery integument, and a hairy interior. The stem is 10-30 cm high and the leaves are thin and linear. The flowers have 6 free dark red petals, spatula-shaped and oval, 30-50mm, the smaller outer ones with a green tinge at the base and the larger inner ones with a dark spot at the base. The red tulip multiplies with bulbs, meaning that it is spread with the help of human activities.

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