The weather this November has been much more seasonable than this time last year. Night time temperatures have been quite chilly with snow on Mount Dikte since the middle of the month. Days have been dark and heavy rain has been accompanied by terrific thunder storms and high winds. A few warm sunny days have allowed me to go out photographing and to take a group of Flowers of Crete supporters out on a field trip.
A week-end trip to Hania provided a feast of cyclamen, but sadly one of my favourite sites has been ploughed up, leaving no trace of Crocus cartwrightianus which was previously abundant.
Crocus boryi - a large pure white crocus with a yellow throat. It has long orange stigmas and white anthers.
Excursion - a group of supporters and volunteers spent a couple of happy and informative hours in the hills above Plaka where we identified areas of building development and did a ‘head count’ and photographic shoot of Biarum davisii. Followed by a meal together at a taverna in Elounda, the day proved very productive and enjoyable.
Crocus oreocreticus - this beautiful saffron crocus is endemic to Crete and grows in large numbers on the Katharo Plateau. I have taken this endangered crocus as the symbol of Flowers of Crete. Crocus oreocreticus is found in many shades of mauve and a delicate greyish white.
Colchicum cretense - this pretty colchicum is endemic to Crete and can be found in the meadows of the Katharo amongst Crocus oreocreticus and laevigatus. It’s small star shaped flowers range in colour from almost white to delicate rose mauve.
Crocus laevigatus - this crocus is easily recognised by the purple stripe on the outside of its white petals.
Vitex agnus castus – The Chaste Tree is so called because it is thought that it has anaphrodisiac qualities and was used by monks on Crete and elsewhere. The Chaste Tree is very attractive, with its spires of mauve/purple flowers which look a little like lilac.