The species is also known as Ononis campestris. Lomelosia minoana sps minoana. Endemic to the Dikti Mountains, this large-flowering scabious is very ornamental and also has wonderful fruiting heads. Dragon arum Dracunculus vulgaris. This plant always impresses, perhaps especially for first-time visitors to Crete. The large, white-spotted leaves and blotchy stalks are distinctive even before the sometimes huge, maroon but occasionally pale spathe appears; the slender spadix adds a finishing touch.
And it stinks of rotting flesh, to attract pollinating flies. It's often found on disturbed ground, such as olive groves, but here by the sea at Frangocastello. Looking rather like a cornflower or a small knapweed, crupina is an attractive annual composite found in stony places, including fields and phrygana. It's peculiarly tricky to photograph as the solitary flower heads are on the top of long, thin stems so they tremble whenever there's a breeze.
This one was at Mirthios. Flower of the month, April Cretan cyclamen Cyclamen creticum. The gorgeous Cretan cyclamen reminds us that being an endemic or nearly so - it's also on Karpathos doesn't always mean rare. In open woodland, Cretan cyclamen can be in dense carpets with flowers numbering in thousands. They can also be seen in gorges, but typically not in such masses.
Cretan cyclamen can found, in the right habitat, in the majority of Crete. Flowers are usually white, occasionally pink. These were inland from Plakias. Flower of the month March This peculiar, compact perennial is often in patches where there is some damp from rocks or shade. The stalked brown- or green-striped flowers may be tucked in under the glossy heart-shaped leaves, or like this one poke through showing the club-like spike of its spadix coming out of the cowl-like hood.
Format: Kindle Edition; File Size: KB; Print Length: 16 pages; Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited; Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.; Language: English . This is a simple easy-to-use month calendar for year It has a separate page for each month, with beautiful photo of a flower, for each month different.
It flowers in the winter and early spring. Flower of the month February One of the many Limoniums — sea lavenders — to be found on the beaches around Crete in late winter and early spring.
This one was found on the beach near Paleochora in south-west Crete last February. Limonium sinuatum is common on parts of the north coast Flower of the month January The beautiful Crown Anemone Anemone coronaria can be seen all over the island in late winter and early spring. Colours vary from almost white through to deep rich fuschias and purples and they can be found in huge drifts on meadows and hillsides.
The fields were full of hundreds of this beautiful saffron crocus, in shades ranging from white to deep mauve. The stunning veining on this crocus makes it fascinating to photograph or paint. Flower of the month - November Biarum davisii. It will soon be time for the strangest little endemic to begin blooming in the hills above Elounda. This rare Cretan subspecies can be found in large numbers if you know where to find it, but it is easily overlooked. For me, Biarum davisii signals the start of another season of flowers and I await its appearance with some impatience. Photo taken 9 November Flower of the month - October Euphorbia dimorphocaulon.
This tiny little euphorbia was photographed growing on an otherwise barren hillside before the autumn rains had really started. Around it everything was completely desiccated and dry. Amazing how such a fragile plant can grow in such harsh conditions. September Sea daffodil Pancratium maritimum , repeated from September Flower of the month: August Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium.
A member of the Apiaceae family formerly known as Umbelliferae , it is common in northern Europe, but somewhat rarer in the Mediterranean. It flowers in open woodland, grassy places and roadsides from April to July and its distinctive white flowers are followed by these beautifully fragile seed pods. This particular specimen caught my eye as we were driving on the Lassithi Plateau and we just had to stop to photograph it. Flower of the month: July Euphorbia rechingeri. This endemic spurge is only found in a small area high in Lefka Ora, the white mountains.
It grows in calcareous crevices and on screes above m. It's closely related to and sometimes put as a subspecies of the better known Euphorbia myrsinites. Photo by Anna Meurling. Flower of the month: June Campanula tubulosa. It has two characteristic swellings at the base of each calyx lobes, shown below in close-up. Flower of the month, May Paeonia clusii. This beautiful flower, found only on Crete, mostly in the White Mountains, is usually white, though occasionally as pictured is pink.
It's such a striking looking bloom that bridegrooms from Sfakia used to pin a peony on their lapels, it's said. Flower of the month, April Bishop's ophrys Ophrys episcopalis. It is a similar shape to sawfly orchid O. Links: Ten Cretan orchids; Crete orchids on www. Flower of the month, March Scilla nana. Scilla nana Glory of the Snow is found in the mountains, blooming as the snow melts, so its flowering time is very varied. When we are lucky enough to find it, we are always taken aback by the beauty of the blooms, from white, through a pink blush to a startling blue.
Endemic to Crete, this species is now known everywhere as a superb rock plant, providing colour when very little else is in flower. Flower of the month, February , Silene colorata The cheerful Silene colorata is starting to come out all round the island, as a herald of the wonderful flowers to come. Its bright pink petals shine in the winter sunshine and always lift the spirits. Flower of the month, January Narcissus tazetta.
One of the most beautiful winter flowers of Crete, Narcissus tazetta , or paperwhite narcissus, is found all over the island from November through to February. Unfortunately, the attractive blooms, with their sweet aroma, makes this bulb an ideal cut flower for brightening winter homes and huge bunches of picked blossoms can be seen in weekly markets. Flower of the month, December Crocus tournefortii. This beautiful crocus can be recognised by its yellow throat and white anthers. The leaves, which appear with the flowers, are dark green with a central light white ridge. It can be found in the east of the island at low altitude — often on stoney roadsides and in olive groves.
It's in flower from late October to mid December. Unidentified Sternbergia outside the village of Deliana. At first sight, I thought that this beautiful, bright Sternbergia was Sternbergia lutea , but it seems too robust.
It was growing along the roadside and beneath shrubs and bushes on the banks. Any thoughts on identification would be most welcome. Despite the late arrival of the rains this year, the autumn flowering bulbs are making a spectacular display in the west of the island. Flower of the month October Hirtellina fructicosa. It was formerly known as Staehellina fructicosa. Fructicosa means shrubby, which can help when looking for flowers with that name.
Flower of the month - September Campanula jacquini. This beautiful and rare endemic Campanula grows in the mountain regions of Western Crete above 1, metres. This specimen was photographed by Anna and Olle Meurling on one of their mountain hikes. Flower of the month - August Thymus capitatus. This wonderfully aromatic wild thyme can be found in flower on hill and mountain sides across Crete throughout August. Its nectar draws in a multitude of bees and it is responsible for the unmistakable flavour of Cretan honey.
At the height of summer, the air is filled with the scent of thyme, sage, rosemary and origano and the sound of the humming of thousands of happy Cretan bees. This culinary herb can be found across the eastern Mediterranean and into Turkey. Flower of the month - July Helichrysum doerfleri. This tiny, rare, endemic Helichrysum is known only from the Thripti Mountains in eastern Crete. No bigger than a thumbnail if can be found over a few square metres near the summit of the highest peak there.
Despite its tiny proportions, it is very beautiful, shining in the summer sunlight. This species is recorded as 'endangered' in the Greek Red Book. Flower of the month - June Epipactis cretica - Cretan Helleborine. This rare Cretan endemic, the Cretan Helleborine, was photographed in a remote forest area near Ierapetra.
It is a shade loving plant that is quite difficult to photograph. This specimen, growing under plane trees near a fast flowing mountain stream, was equally difficult to spot. It is a delicate and subdued plant but nevertheless very beautiful and in need of protection from both animals and humans. It flowers in mountainous areas from the end of May through June, depending on weather conditions.
Flower of the month - May Phlomis cretica. Phlomis cretica is the Cretan species of Jerusalem sage and at this time of the year many hillsides are covered with its brilliant yellow flowers. Growing alongside Phlomis fructicosa , its nectar provides a feast for many insects, including the endangered Cretan bee.
Flowers of the month - April Crown anemone, Anemone coronaria. One of the brightest and certainly most varied flower on Crete in spring.
They can be red like this one, left, near Spili , white blue, purple, violet or mauve - like these below, on the Omalos plateau. This interesting little ophrys is said to be relatively common on Crete, but in all the time we have been photographing and botanising, I have only seen is in two locations in the east of the island. The areas where it grows are on rocky hillsides covered with low and very spiney bushes, so getting a good image is not easy. This was one of a large clump, growing among many other ophrys and orchids.
Flower of the month - March Bellevalia brevipedicellata. This rare, endemic plant, Bellevalia brevipedicellata, can be found flowering only in the south west corner of Crete during the late winter months. Although it could be easily overlooked because of its muted colouring, it is really a lovely little plant. Photographed by Julia for the first time this year, it was growing in abundance on rocks at sea level and even on the side of the main road around Paleochora.
This endemic is one of several of this species that can be found in isolated areas from west to east. Flower of the month - February Bellis longifolia. Bellis longifolia is a pretty endemic daisy which is, as its name suggests, recognised by its long serrated leaves. The flower heads are held on long stalks and are extremely beautiful when seen en masse.
More commonly found in central and western Crete, this is a favourite with Flowers of Crete. Flower of the month - January Ophrys bomblyiflora. The flowering season continues to the middle of April. Known as the Bumblebee ophrys, it grows in its hundreds on several of the orchid-rich sites in this area.
Flower of the month - December Scilla autumnalis. Scilla autumnalis synonym Prospero autumnalis or the Autumn squill is one of the first bulbs to come into flower after the rains. Botanists believe that there are probably several subspecies of this little flower, but more work needs to be done to prove this.
Blooming in soil preferred by orchids, it is a good indicator for discoveries later in the season. Although very small, the flowers can often be found in such large colonies that the hillside takes on a soft mauve hue. The Autumn squill is very common and can be found all over the island.
Flower of the month - November Narcissus tazetta.
However, in Schima wallichii , the important breeding trait would be that the natural population has variation in flowering phenology, pollen yield which may affect pollinator visitation. Colours vary from almost white through to deep rich fuschias and purples and they can be found in huge drifts on meadows and hillsides. It was tested after every two hour interval during the entire day length. For members of the community who have limited time we are offering you an opportunity to get involved. Published in , her first book, Flower Decoration , was a bestseller. This was an iron spiked implement that was thrown under horses' feet to disable them during battle. This one was at Mirthios.
More commonly found in late January and February, this superb bulb is a favourite amongst gardeners and florists around Europe. As a cut flower this sturdy flower lasts well in water and this has sadly led to over-picking by locals either to adorn their homes and offices or to sell in the market to raise a few extra euros.
Flower of the month - October Biarum tenuifolium ssp zelborii. This photograph, taken by Flowers of Crete supporter Anna Meurling, was taken in what may be a new site on the far east coast. These biarums are small members, around 12 cms high, of the Aracea family, so a sharp eye is needed to spot them.
Please report any possible sightings, with a photograph if possible. Flowers of Crete's 'Most Wanted' for the month of October. Flower of the month - September Campanula cretica. September is not rich in flowers, as it marks the end of the hot, dry summer season. However, this rare, beautiful and endemic bellflower produces large white or pink flowers from the end of June to the end of this month. Flower of the month - August Sea Holly - Eryngium maritimum. In the hot summer months it attracts huge numbers of brown and yellow hornets whose buzzing fills the air.
The sea holly is a fairly dull looking plant until it blooms and even then it needs carefully scrutiny to appreciate just how beautiful its blossoms are. Despite the high summer temperatures, several coastal plants come into flower in August, including the delightful Pancratium maritimum, the Sea Daffodil. Flower of the month - July Cephelantera cucullata - Hooded cephalanthera. On a recent photographic trip, we found three specimens in flower, but were horrified to see that someone had been digging up bulbs throughout the forest.
Growing in remote mountain areas, it seems virtually impossible to protect these species and with the current economic crisis in Greece there is little or no money available for such environmental projects. Flower of the month - June Cretan rock lettuce Petromarula pinnata. This photo of the endemic rock lettuce Petromarula pinnata was taken in the grounds of the Orthodox Academy of Crete at Kolymbari. Found growing in old stone walls and in rocky crevices, it is easily recognisable, not only by its distinctive flowers but by its beautiful blue colouring and its elegant flower spikes.
Petromarula, as it's often called, is more commonly found in west and central Crete. As the English name suggests, the leaves of this early summer flowering species can be eaten as a salad vegetable, despite actually being in the campanula bellflower family and not a true lettuce, which are composites. Flower of the month - May Few-flowered orchid Orchis pauciflora.
This year, after a late start because of the cold weather, the orchids have been magnificient. The fields around Spili were full of the bright yellow Orchis pauciflora. This orchid is usually found on the lower slopes of mountains and often can be seen in large drifts. It was once considered to be a subspecies of Provence orchid Orchis provincialis , which is much scarcer on Crete. Flower of the month - April Storax Styrax officinalis. This beautiful small tree or shrub has hanging bunches of fragrant flowers that in bud are reminiscent of a snowdrop.
According to myth, the plant originated in Crete and was introduced to Greece by Radamanthys, son of Zeus. It prefers cooler locations such as gorges and riversides: this one was photographed in Kourtaliotiko gorge. Flower of the month - March Sand crocus Romulea bulbocodium. This beautiful Romulea was photographed on the grassy meadows at the back of the beach at Falasarna on the west coast of Crete.
This member of the iris family can be found on Crete from sea level to the high mountains and is in flower from February to April. Romulea bulbocodium is one of four species that can be found on Crete, and is the one most likely to be found, often in great numbers. Flower of the month - February Giant orchid Barlia robertiana. With yet another mild winter, the first orchids of the season are in bloom. One of the most spectacular of these is Barlia robertiana - Robert's Giant Orchid, which can grow to one metre or more.
Beautifully scented and with a colour range from greenish white to deep burgundy, this orchid is one to be photographed time and time again. Sadly, this Barlia is often picked to decorate homes and offices. The good news is that it is fairly common and can grow in large numbers all around the island. Flower of the month - January Cretan mistletoe Viscum album ssp creticum. The berries of Cretan mistletoe, which can be found growing in the east of the island around Aghios Nikolaos on Pinus halepensis ssp brutia - The Turkish or Calabrian Pine.
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant which can grow on evergreen or deciduous trees. Growing high in the branches of pine trees on Mount Thripti and above Kritsa, it is often shot down to provide festive decoration at Christmas. Flower of the month - December Verbascum macrurum. This mullein is a reminder of the familiar botanists' observation that plants don't read books, as its 'official' flowering season is March to August.
The specimen must be the most wonderful of its kind I have yet seen. It was spotted by Rosemary John botanist for Flowers of Crete , at the end of November on the Yious Cambos, above Rethymnon, flowering at a relatively high altitude. The plant itself was squat and stocky but the amazingly vibrant flowers — each was at least 3 cms across — made it visible from several metres distance. Standing amidst Crocus oreocreticus see below and Crocus laevigatos on a bright, clear day, it was an absolute joy to see.
Flower of the month - November Allium tardans This little, unassuming allium was found on Rosemary's hillside recently and is one of my favourite Cretan area endemics. It can also be found on Karpathos. Despite being, on first glance quite insignificant, its subtle colours are a delight when viewed up close. It is widespread on Crete, preferring calcareous cliffs, abandoned fields and phrygana.
I suppose one of the reasons why I love it, is because it heralds the start of the growing season and all the delightful things we are bound to find in the coming months. It's also found on mainland Greece where it is common in the Peleponnese. Cyclamen graecum flowers in October and November, though this may depend on temperatures and when the autumn rains come. It's one of five cyclamen species on Crete.
The endemic Cyclamen candicum formerly C. This beautiful flower was photographed a couple of years ago at the wonderful cyclamen meadows near Astratigos, near Kissamos in the west of the island. Sadly these fields are now being ploughed to plant yet more olive trees. However, we have recovered as many corms as we can and these are doing well in pots around Aghios Nikolaos, until we can find somewhere more suitable to re-plant. Cyclamen graecum subsp. The corm of this cyclamen was estimated to be at least 40 years old. Flower of the month - September Sea daffodil Pancratium maritimum.
Being autumn-flowering, spring visitors to the Mediterranean miss out on this seaside gem - apart from the daffodil-like leaves and, with a little searching, its chunky black seeds. The sea daffodil can be found on the sea shore in many places around Crete and is so beautiful that it is now cultivated in the grounds of several luxury hotels. Its perfume is sweet and heady and altogether this must be one of the most attractive plants on the island.
Flower of the month - August Origanum dictamnus - Cretan dittany This endemic labiate of calcareous cliffs and gorges, from sea level up to m, has been used as a medicine for many centuries. Much of the colour is from deep pinky bracts that overlap the whitish-pink flowers. Flower of the month - July Consolida ajacis - larkspur.
A beautiful annual found in localised areas on Crete. This specimen was photographed on the edge of cultivated fields on the Katharo Plateau above Aghios Nikolaos. It was in bloom when delegates from the conference on biodiversity made a field trip to the remote beaches of the south west tip of Crete. The intensely grey hairy leaves are for moisture retention, typical of many flowers of maritime sands. Photo taken 8 May Flower of the month - January Cretan mistletoe Viscum album ssp creticum The berries of Cretan mistletoe, which can be found growing in the east of the island around Aghios Nikolaos on Pinus halepensis ssp brutia - The Turkish or Calabrian Pine.
Recently Edward Munson, of the fifth generation to enlist in the family business and fresh out of university, joined his parents, Stephen and Jo, to help with their annual crop. Each year they produce more than 7m tulips and 1. They supply wholesale markets across the UK and are dedicated to the future of British flowers. They have also invested in biomass boilers, solar panels and a reservoir for recycling run-off rainwater as part of their commitment to the environment. In Cornwall, James Clowance, at Clowance Wood Nurseries, runs his long established family business with similar passion, producing spring and summer flowers, both to sell to wholesalers and directly to customers online.
Working with Tambuzi, a Fairtrade farm in Kenya, for winter growing, Morton specialises in deliciously scented English roses that are sold directly to the public online and to the flower trade via several wholesalers. Larger companies like these are generally run independently of each other and can supply flowers on a large scale that can be intimidating to the smaller, artisanal growers. Three years ago, Jane Macfarlane Duckworth founded The Flower Union to address some of those issues and put florists in touch with smaller British growers.
By pooling resources, especially transportation and administration, growers can concentrate on their core business and provide florists with a wider range of plants in larger quantities, as single types can be sourced from several growers. Macfarlane Duckworth insists this is the most realistic and environmentally sustainable way for the sector to grow. Some artisanal growers choose to go it alone, however. She is polycultural and organic, so her clients have a constantly revolving palette of seasonal flowers with a strong environmental ethos: hand weeding, boreholes for water, black bees for pollination, manure from her own livestock and no pesticides.
In Oxfordshire, Bridget Elworthy is another innovative gardener-grower. She took on a large garden when she moved to the UK from New Zealand and quickly saw the potential to make it productive, both in terms of cut flowers and vegetables. Along with Henrietta Courtauld she set up The Land Gardeners, which supplies cut flowers to the trade and designs productive gardens.
As a consultancy, it also advises on productive gardening and runs workshops exploring healthy plants, soil biodiversity and living gardens. The future, then, is not looking too grim and I feel Constance Spry would be very excited to see recent developments. I hope it might encourage people to be more flower-thoughtful in every sense of that word. Spry firmly believed in creating beauty from what she found close at hand.
Maybe there is a message there for all of us in this new age of austerity. Shane Connolly is a floral designer. Constance Spry wrote 11 books on flower arrangement, each generously illustrated, writes George Hammond. If alive today, she would no doubt have an enviable Instagram feed. The Land Gardeners thelandgardeners , which has 26, Instagram followers, were early converts.
Their posts, which routinely garner more than 1, likes, are a mix of elegant arrangements and messages of support for causes close to their hearts. Choose your FT trial. Currently reading:. Mediterranean makeover: UK gardens and climate change. Five properties with designer gardens. The sundial designer putting a modern twist on ancient technology. Design classic: the Felco 2 secateurs. Sculpture in your garden: a video guide. Shane Connolly May 19, Experimental feature. Listen to this article Play audio for this article Pause