The tulips of Crete are very impressive, although almost nobody knows that there are several tulip species. These are the Tulipa cretica throughout Crete, the red Tulipa doerfleri in plateau Gious Kambos, the Tulipa goulimyi in Chania, Tulipa saxatilis subsp. bakeri in Omalos Plateau and the mountainouss Tulipa saxatilis.
The red tulip of Crete (Tulipa doerfleri) is one of the 5 endemic tulip species of Crete. It grows exclusively at the small plateau of Gious Cambos, by Amari Valley, at an altitude ranging from 700-800m. In spring (April) this small plateau is covered by a red carpet made of tulips.
The red tulip of Goulimis (Tulipa goulimyi) is extremely rare in Crete, as the only confirmed population is limited to a very small area of the peninsula Gramvousa. The population of Crete has shrunk too much, mainly because of the cultivation and tourism. Other less endangered populations are found on Kythera, Antikythera and South Peloponnese.
The rocky tulip (Tulipa saxatilis) is a rare species of tulip scattered around Crete, Karpathos, Rhodos and southern Turkey. There is also the endemic rocky tulip of Baker (Tulipa saxatilis subsp. bakeri), that was initially separated from the saxatilis species, but in 2009 was reconsidered as a subspecies of saxatilis.
The Cretan tulip (Tulipa cretica) is the most prevalent type of tulip on Crete, which is endemic to Crete. It grows in areas with low vegetation, rocky slopes and plains, from sea level up to 2000m.