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Wild Flowers

Crete hosts more species of wild flower than the whole of the europian Isles, including around 150 endemic plants.

Without doubt the best time to see the profusion of flowers is in the month of May.

Some of the flowers are linked to mythology, such as the scarlet buttercups.

According to legend, Smyrna’s son, Adonis, was so dangerously handsome, Aphrodite sealed him in a chest and placed him under the guard of Persephone, Queen of the underworld.

Curiosity got the better of her and Persephone opened the chest and immediately took Adonis as her lover.

Aphrodite was not amused and fought with Persephone until the muse, Calliope, ruled that Adonis should spend a third of the year with each of the two Godesses and a third alone.

Persephone discovered that Aphrodite had persuaded Adonis to spend his own third with her! Persephone told Ares, Aphrodite jealous lover, who in a wild rage turned himself into a wild boar and tore Adonis limb from limb.

It is said wherever the blood of Adonis fell, the tiny scarlet buttercups sprang up, forever after called adonis;

The modern name for the buttercups is Adonis microcarpa and they can be found in abundance among the roman ruins at Aptera above Megalo Chorafia, just east of Chania. This site is also home to bryony, giant fennel, scarlet pimpernel and wild orchids.

At Stalos, among the sand dunes you can find sea daffodils and sedge;

If you take the road to Omalos, you can see Dracunculus vulgaris, a triffid like plant with an aubergine coloured velvet tongue wrapped around a glistening black rod up to one foot long! On the Omalos plateau itself you can discover mauve anemones with paper-like petals and the odd pink and yellow wild tulip.

Moving above the Samaria Gorge to the climbing hut at Kallergi, follow a lined path to view more wild crocus and mauve aubretia.

At this time of year many of the roadside views sport fields of yellow and red poppies.

If your are lucky enough to be holidaying in the spring months, dont miss the opportunity to discover these unique and beautiful wild flowers and experience the natural beauty of Greece

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