We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button


Author Topic: Crete - where to go?  (Read 1396 times)

pehe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 989
  • Country: dk
  • Autumn flowering bulbs
Crete - where to go?
« on: April 30, 2013, 12:18:39 PM »
In the middle of May I am visiting Crete for a one week family holiday.
Any recommendations of what to see and where to go for a one day plant hunting trip?
We are staying in the western part of Crete.

Thanks in advance
Poul
Poul Erik Eriksen in Hedensted, Denmark - Zone 6

Tony Willis

  • Wandering Star
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3207
  • Country: england
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 10:29:01 PM »
Poul

you are very late in the season.I was there first week of April and it seemed a very early season compared when I have been before. The snow was already melting fast. I would suggest Mt Ida as a fairly high point to start. The road which is new is well made up to a cave and when I was there that is as high as we went and there was not much to see. It is however possible to walk higher from there and might still be plants.There is a road/track to an abandoned ski resort. Sorry not to be more helpful.
Chorley, Lancashire zone 8b

TC

  • Roving Reporter
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 09:01:14 PM »
It's about 15 years since I was in Crete but the Omalos plain in the Lefka Ori mountains is worth a visit.   We visited in May and still found many species of Bee Orchids.  Where there were areas of uncultivated grasslands, the wild flowers were in profusion.
I you are prepared to do some strenuous hill walking, the path up Gingelos can be rewarding.  For orchids, the Spili/Gerikari road was exceptional 
I have included some pictures to give you an idea of location and flowers.
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

TC

  • Roving Reporter
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 09:04:03 PM »
More
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

TC

  • Roving Reporter
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 09:06:59 PM »
still more
Tom Cameron
Ayr, West of Scotland

Tony Willis

  • Wandering Star
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3207
  • Country: england
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 08:16:35 AM »
Tom

I agree Spili is wonderful but it will not work in mid May this year.

We were there the first week in April and already the tulips and iris were over and the orchids in full bloom. The same applies to the Omalos where the tulips and anemones were at their peak.  Now even three weeks later I would imagine they are virtually finished. I think the only option will be to climb higher and look for such things as the anchusa and campanulas. It is a very early spring.
Chorley, Lancashire zone 8b

pehe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 989
  • Country: dk
  • Autumn flowering bulbs
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 02:39:07 PM »
Thank you Tony and Tom,
I will follow your suggestions and enjoy what we see. If not flowers, then the beautiful mountains.
I know it is too late for most bulbs, but the main purpose for our holiday is to get some sun and relax a bit and of course see the culture of Crete. Seeing bulbs and other alpine plants will be a nice bonus. I hope to return for a real bulb trip in the autumn or early spring some day.

Poul
Poul Erik Eriksen in Hedensted, Denmark - Zone 6

ranunculus

  • utterly butterly
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5065
  • Country: england
  • ALL BUTTER AND LARD
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 10:16:25 PM »
We have just arrived back from ten days on the Mani in the Peloponnese and a very unseasonal heatwave (32 degrees and clear, windless skies every day), but we still managed to find a magnificent range of species, both on the coastal plains and in the mountains.
Not Crete I know, but hopefully Poul will still manage to find some interesting things.
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

krisderaeymaeker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1898
  • Country: be
  • former president Vlaamse Rotsplanten Vereniging
    • Vlaamse Rotsplanten Vereniging  Flemish Rock Garden Club site and Forum
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 08:32:54 PM »
We have just arrived back from ten days on the Mani in the Peloponnese and a very unseasonal heatwave (32 degrees and clear, windless skies every day), but we still managed to find a magnificent range of species, both on the coastal plains and in the mountains.
Not Crete I know, but hopefully Poul will still manage to find some interesting things.

Good to hear that you had a good time Cliff ! Super .
Kris De Raeymaeker
from an ancient Roman settlement near the Rupel
Belgium

"even the truth is very often only perception"

"Small plants make great friends"

krisderaeymaeker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1898
  • Country: be
  • former president Vlaamse Rotsplanten Vereniging
    • Vlaamse Rotsplanten Vereniging  Flemish Rock Garden Club site and Forum
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 08:52:51 PM »
Thank you Tony and Tom,
I will follow your suggestions and enjoy what we see. If not flowers, then the beautiful mountains.
I know it is too late for most bulbs, but the main purpose for our holiday is to get some sun and relax a bit and of course see the culture of Crete. Seeing bulbs and other alpine plants will be a nice bonus. I hope to return for a real bulb trip in the autumn or early spring some day.
Poul

I only could confirm the others Poul ....wish I could you promise some other things but ...
We have been there that period the first time we went to Crete . We did find the last flowers on Cyclamen creticum in the Samaria gorge . We have seen some Alliums in flower to (the bigger Alliums)  I suppose that maybe Anchusa is stil flowering. 
You wil find some Campanula's in flower.
But I think you also could find some Paeonia clusii in flower ! And this is also a very fine plant in the wild !
In the higher parts there are some rockgardenplants like Acantholimons. Near the Samaria gorge there is another nice thing that is in flower that time : Putoria calabrica .
And there are so many gorges you could walk , maybe you see Daphne jasminea wich is growing in some smal areas.
I think that you wil enjoy this island anyhow ... 
Kris De Raeymaeker
from an ancient Roman settlement near the Rupel
Belgium

"even the truth is very often only perception"

"Small plants make great friends"

Richard Green

  • Journal Access Group
  • Sr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 254
  • Country: scotland
  • SRGC Treasurer
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2013, 11:12:47 PM »
If you cannot find it in the wild, then I think you may still observe the Paeonia in the garden of the Omalos Hotel on that plateau.  It was in small tight buds when I was there in the second week of April two years ago.
Richard Green - Balfron Station, West Central Scotland

pehe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 989
  • Country: dk
  • Autumn flowering bulbs
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 12:29:51 PM »
Tony, you were right. May is not the best time visiting Crete if you are looking for bulbs.

We had a great holiday in Crete staying in a wonderful hotel close to the see.
But botanical it was a disappointment.
Tuesday we rented a car and drove to the mountains (Lefka Ori, from Omalos plateau to the western coast)
The trip started fine, but as we reached a height of about 500 m it started raining and photographing was very difficult. At the Omalos plateau (1200m) the weather was terrible and I only managed to take a one hour walk while my wife stayed in the car. I hoped to see some exciting flowers there, but there was lot of sheep and goats which had eaten every plant to the ground level excepts some Asphodelus ramosus, which the don't seem to like.
Behind some fences I saw some bulbs but only a few of them in flower:
Muscari comosum
Arum creticum
Arum concinnatum
Tulipa species
Colchicum species

Here is a few pics, some with raindrops on the lens.

Poul
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 03:00:47 PM by pehe »
Poul Erik Eriksen in Hedensted, Denmark - Zone 6

pehe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 989
  • Country: dk
  • Autumn flowering bulbs
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 12:33:19 PM »
And a few more from the Omalos plateau.

Poul Erik Eriksen in Hedensted, Denmark - Zone 6

pehe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 989
  • Country: dk
  • Autumn flowering bulbs
Re: Crete - where to go?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 12:38:02 PM »
At the beach near Chania there was a natural sand bulb bed with lots of Pancratium maritimum.
Unfortunately not in flower, but I collected some seeds.

Poul

Poul Erik Eriksen in Hedensted, Denmark - Zone 6

 


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942