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Endemic plants of Crete


Endemism in Crete reaches a percentage that varies from 10 to 50% of species, with the low percentage constantly increasing from year to year.

What does endemism mean, however? It means that there are exclusively specific organisms in a certain area, which implies a greater responsibility for their maintenance.

In absolute numbers, one can find 623 species of plants in Crete, with the native ones reaching 1742 and the imported 140, according to a relevant study.

2 of the 623 species are endemic to Crete, while 159 of the 1742 are also considered endemic.

The reasons that Crete is basically a micro-world of flora is its geographic isolation, the existence of many different biomes, the fact that glaciers never reached Crete, and because it serves as a crossroads between three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa.

Areas such as the White Mountains and some islets are home to many endemic species, essentially serving as an “invitation” for botanists from around the world to study them.

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