The Cretan Flora

Herbaceous perennials

This section describes some of Crete's plants which in the botanical taxonomy are called "angiosperms, dicotyledonous'. Angiosperms represent nearly 80% of all seedlings. They are then divided into monocots and dicots. Dicotyledonous plants have two cotyledons, when the seed germs.


Bryonia cretica

This kind of Bryony bears the name 'cretica', which suggests its origin in Crete. But it exists in most parts of Europe, western Asia and North Africa. It is a climbing perennial that grows wild in the hedges and undergrowth. All parts of the plant, but especially the red berries are very poisonous. The ancient Greeks used it partly as a laxative and to treat rheumatism and sciatica.

Phlomis or Jerusalem Sage

Phlomis cretica

In Crete there are three kinds of Phlomis, Phlomis fruticosa, Phlomis cretica and Phlomis lanata. The latter found only in Crete. Despite the name Phlomis cretica can also be found elsewhere in southern Greece. P. lanata is an evergreen shrub that resemble sage, with its gray-green hairy leaves. The flowers are golden. It grows on dry, rocky slopes (phrygana) in full sun.

Photo of a Bougainvillea with mountains behind. It is native to South America but found all over the Mediterranean today.
Scroll to top