Flowers of Crete encourages interest in Crete's wild flowers
and promotes their conservation.
Ophrys iricolor is one of the first and most distinctive of the spring
flowering orchids. Similar in shape to Ophrys mesaritica, which also
blooms very early, it can be recognised by the vibrant grey/blue blazon
of the lip and the brilliant crimson of the under lip.
Ophrys iricolor - for which rainbow ophrys is one English name - It is widespread
across Crete, but can be localised. It is prolific around Elounda in the
east of the island and also at lower levels on Thripti and Dikti.
Flowers of Crete holidays and courses for 2018
Holidays for 2018 with Flowers of Crete are now available.
These include flower-finding in March, late orchids in May and autumn bulbs in November.
More information about our trips on our holidays page.
Oliver Rackham 'commemorative symposium': to celebrate the life of landscape historian
and author of The Making of the Cretan Landscape, who died last year, there was a commemorative symposium in the UK (Cambridge) in August 2016. More in news.
Bellevalia juliana: a new flower for Crete, named after Flowers of Crete founder, Julia Jones. More in news. Photoset of Bellevalia juliana by Stephen Lenton on Facebook here.
Cretan fritillary is an endemic subspecies found only on the island, according to research at the University of Patras. See news here >
Conserving the Cretan Lizard Orchid. Himantoglossum
samariense (right) is one of Crete's most elusive and threatened plants. Julia Jones from Flowers of Crete describes recent efforts to find and protect it - read the full story here.
Getting started with Crete's wonderful flowers
With some 1700 species of flowers native to Crete, of which 10 per cent are endemic, you may wonder where to start. One way is to click on the photos below. You can find out what these flowers are, and see our Flowers of Crete introductory web pages ...
Saving the Cretan Palm
The Cretan palm Phoenix theophrastii is found only on the coast of Crete and south-western Turkey, and on Crete is best known from Vai and Préveli.
The red palm weevil, sadly sometimes imported on cultivated palm species, is a serious threat to the near-endemic Cretan palm and every effort needs to be taken to try to stop its progress.
You can help by keeping an eye out of the weevil and its grubs and reporting news to Flowers of Crete.