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The island is a showcase of flowers and trees. There is an amazing array of flowers, over 1600 species including 150 indigenous varieties.
In winter white sprays of blossom blend in with the mountain snow, the lower slopes are carpeted with white narcissus, pink lavender, anemones and wild orchids of every variety.
During the summer months bougainvillea drapes over garden walls alongside the sweet smelling honeysuckle and jasmine.
A profusion of herbs grow here.
The one that has been associated with the island since antiquity is dittany or diktamo as the Cretans call it.
Named after Mount Dikti, it is usually served as tea and helps soothe a number of ailments. Cretans also drink sage tea as well as cinnamon tea.
The most prevalent tree on the island is of course the olive tree. Easy to recognise by its gnarled trunk and silvery leaves. The olive oil produced here is the best in Greece.
The awesome, craggy mountains used to be congested with forests but now only a few plants cling to the weather beaten rock face.
In the wooded areas still remaining youll find oak, chesnut, cypress, pine, walnut, almond and ilex trees.