Cyclamen Society Field Study: Eastern Crete 1995

The second year of a three year study in the drier eastern end of Crete, C. creticum
was found to be far more extensively distributed than had previously
been recorded.

29 sites were visited and 28 plants collected (1 C. graecum,
3 C. persicum & 24 C. creticum).

A report of the 1995 field study was published in the
Cyclamen Society Journal Vol. 19 No. 2, December 1995.

Abridged field notes referenced by site number follow this table.
Giving brief locational information and habitat data which may aid cultivation.

CSE Plants Eastern Crete, 1995.

If plant images are available they may be viewed by clicking on the purple CSE plant number.

CSE Plant No.Site No.SpeciesSubspeciesDescription
9500095/01C. graecumcandicum
9504595/03C. creticumVery pink flower & pale nose.
9504995/05C. creticumComplete centre of leaf silver.
9505095/05C. creticumContrast between green and silver on leaf. Wide silver margin.
9505195/05C. creticumContrast between green and silver on leaf. More silver.
9505295/05C. creticumContrast between green and silver on leaf. With specks.
9505395/05C. creticumLeaves with specks, and silver centre.
9507495/07C. creticumInteresting leaf.
9509295/07C. creticumPink flower.
9514995/10C. persicumSmall plant.
9515095/10C. persicumHastate leaf marking.
9515195/10C. persicum
9523195/12C. creticumProbably tetraploid.
9524395/12C. creticumVariegated leaf.
9527095/13C. creticumVery good dark pink flower with reasonable leaf.
9528195/13C. creticumPink flowers, looks tetraploid.
9532495/14C. creticumPlain green leaf.
9537995/15C. creticumVery bright leaf.
9538595/15C. creticumGood leaf form.
9541395/16C. creticumDistinctly silvery leaves all over, Hastate and veining dark towards leaf base.
9541495/16C. creticumParticularly distinct silver with very bright speckles.
9541595/16C. creticumAlmost completely silver leaf.
9569295/23C. creticumDistinctly speckled to the point where speckles join to form hastate pattern. No seperate hastate pattern visible.
9571795/24C. creticumPink flower with white nose.
9574695/24C. creticumVery bright speckled hastate pattern.
9579095/25C. creticum
9585295/26C. creticumComplete silver heart to leaf, with speckles very distinct. Possibly pink flower.
95103595/29C. creticumVery bright/bold hastate markings.

CSE Sites in Eastern Crete, 1995.

If site images are available they may be viewed by clicking on the purple site number.


Selena Area. Junction of the road from Gonies to Krasi.
Altitude: 397m. Aspect: West, Shade: 75%, Slope: 1:1. Prodominantly Quercus coccifera scrub. Soil: 2cm Quercus litter decomposing at bottom. Clayey loam. Very smooth red clay, less organic matter with depth. Boulders at surface. A lot of competition with scrub for light. No regeneration.
Growing with: Grasses, Oxalis pres capae, Phlomis cretica, Phyllyria, Euramnus, Iris unquicularis, Anenome heldreichii, Asparagus sp. Geranium robertianum, Salvia trilobus, Osycus.


On road from north coastal road, to Kastelli, shortly affter turn-off to Lassithi.
Altitude: 61m. Aspect: North-north-east (30 degrees). Shade: 80%, Slope: 1:1 with C. creticum growing mostly in level parts. Soil: Rocks at surface, 2.5cm leaf litter, loam with lots of organic matter. Cliff composed of hard dry stoney, clayey deposits with no organic matter. C. creticum regenerating well ‘damp ditch thickest on a man made gully’. Sparse ground vegetation with much bare ground covered with leaf litter of main trees. C. creticum growing at bottom of gully and extending upwards.
Growing with: (Gully) Nerium oleander, Quercus coccifera, Serotina siliqua, Phyliria, Oxalis, Dracunculus vulgaris, Arum concinnatum, Stachys, Pistacio. (Cliff) Quercus, Phlomis, Anenome heldreichii, Composites, orchids, grasses.


Scree, just before pass onto Lassithi plain, road from Krasi.
Altitude: 825m. Aspect: North-north-west. Slope: 1:1. Shade: 0%, Soil: ‘Buried beneath rocks’. Stabilised scree, no movement for centuries. C. creticum growing under spiny bushes & in rock crevices. Sun in mid-late afternoon. Regeneration occurring, no flowering plants as considered too early.
Growing with: Hedera helix, mosses, grasses, Allium sp., Sarcoptrem spinosum, Anthemis sp., Sedum sp., Euphorbia sp., Rumex acetacella, Dracunculus sp., Anenome sp., Urginea maritima, Eringynum caripeli, Geranium robertianum.


Agios Nikolaos to Sitia road, between Kavousi and Lastros.
Altitude: 400m. Aspect: North. Slope: 1:0.5. Shade: 40%, Soil: Dry clayey loam with little organic matter under 5mm leaf litter. C. creticum plants with longer stems due to dense shrub layer. Healthhy plants, regeneration occuring. Olive trees at top of bank providing some shade at noon.
Growing with: Rubia sp., Quercus coccifera, Erica, Euphorbia chavac, Osyris, Composites, Oxalis pres capae, Geranium robertianum


Sitia Area: Church past Toplou Monastery.
Altitude: 92m. Aspect: West. Slope: 1:8, Shade: 0% Soil: Hard packed clay with lots of stone and rocks. Open grazed turf/moorland, exposed hilltop Very unnatural site. Probably moved to the church from elsewhere. Although some regeneration, small population of 65 plants, and not present outside very restricted patch.
Growing with: Pistacio, Salvia trifoliata, Cystus, Plantago lagopus, Geranium robertianum, Grasses, Carex sp., Habeacea sp., Anagallis avenesis, Crocus sp.,Verleurianella locusta


Zakros Gorge.
Altitude: 100m. Aspect: North, Slope: level, Shade: 60%. Soil: Sandy, not a lot of decayed organic matter. Rocks at surface. Gorge bottom, flood plain of stream. Dry at time of visit. Plants occasionally flooded by flash floods. Very healthy plants with more flowers than previously seen. Lots of regeneration, large population.
Growing with: Nerium oleander, Aristotia cretica, Oxalis pres capae,, Dracunculus vulgaris, Salvia, Thistle, Vitex, Acanthus spinossimus, Salaginella sp., Bryonia cretica, Phlomis cretica, Arum concinnatum, Geranium robertianum, Grasses.


Lerapetra Area, north of Stavrohori, in a slight gully.
Altitude: 336m. Aspect: East, Slope: 1:1.5, Shade: 50%, Soil: Some decayed organic matter, loamy soil, no stones near surface North side of gully, growing in undergrowth. Lots off regeneration. Very pink flowered population, good leaves some typically C. creticum.
Growing with: Pistacio, Olives, Carob tree, Ficus, grasses, Oxalis pres capae, Erica, Acanthus spinosimus, Sorrellia, Ophrys, Urginea, Rubus, Hedera helix, Nerium oleander, Euphorbia cracetus, Anenome heldreichii.


Sitia Area: Steep sided gorge near Vori. Vori is in middle of island just west of main road from Sitia to the south.
Altitude: 336m. Aspect: North-northeast. Slope: 1:0 (vertical) Shade: 0-80%. Soil: Very stony, clay, little if any decayed organic matter. Plants at bottom, to several metres up the sides of the gorge. Healthy plants, regeneration occuring.
Growing with: Olive trees, Salvia trifoliata, Spartium, Erica, Ophrys scolupax, Hedera helix, Oxalis prescapa, grasses, composites, Sarcopterum spinosum, Ranunculus creticus, Geranium robertianum, Campanula, Umbelliferas, Allium subhirsutum, Iris unguicularis, Anenome heldreichi, Arum concinnatum.
Plants with speckled leaves at this site were fairly common, but these plants were not yet in flower so were excluded from the survey.


East facing gully south of Kalivitis. Kalivitis is east of Lerapetra, a few kilometres inland from south coast at Mavros Kolimbos.
Altitude: 150m. Aspect: East. Slope: 1:2, Shade: 60-70% , Soil: Rocks at surface, decaying organic matter on surface 2cm deep. Very healthy population, lots of regeneration. Plants growing in gully bottom, in shade of Carob and Pine trees.
Growing with: Carob tree, Pinus brutea, Nerium oleander, Cystus, Gladiolus, Erica, Carex, grasses Taruxicum, composites, Geranium robertianum, Thisles, Umbelliferas, Hedera helix, Trifolium sp. Salvvia trifoliatum, Arisarum vulgare, Myrtus communis, Oxalis pres capae, Labiates.


North of Anatoli. Anatoli is just west of Lerapetra and inland from south coast.
Altitude: 625m. Aspect: North, Slope: 1:1, Shade: 30%, but would have been about 80% before fire. Soil: Thin layer of pinus needles. Thin layer of ash. Many rocks protruding through the soil. Clayey loam. Burnt Pine woodland with a lot of bare ground. Plants not yet in full flower. A lot of regeneration, some good leaf forms.
Growing with: Pinus brutia, Juniperus, Quercus coccifera, Ranunculus, Gladiolus, grasses, thistle Iris unguicularis, Ophrys fusca, Ophrys sphegodes Orchis anatolica, Geranium robertianum, Barlia robertiana, Allium hirsutum, Euphorbia


West of Lerapetra on minor road between Istro on north coast to Anatoli and south coast.
Altitude: 610m. Aspect: Gully South-east, Slope: 1:1.5, Shade: 20% but would have been 80-90% before fire. Soil: Very stony red clay. No litter layer but some ash. Burnt Quercus coccifera in small gully. Fire in summer off 1994 (probably), not as much re-growth as a site 95/16. Regeneration occuring.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Oxalis pres capae, thistles, grasses, Dracunculus, Umbelliferas, Rubia, Geranium robertianum, Triffolium, Arum, Anenome heldreichii, composites, crucifers, Myrtus, Clematis.


Just north of Lerapetra
Altitude: 183m. Aspect: Northwest. Slope: 1:0.75, Shade: 80% Soil: Litter layer 2-3cm, layer of partly decomposed organic matter. Quercus coccifera scrub. Not a lot of regeneration.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Pinus brutia, Carob, Cystus, grasses, Carex, Salvia, composites, Smilax, Pistaceo, Tamus communus, Iris unguicularis, Umbelliferas, Oxalis pres capae, thistles, Urginea maritima, Asphodelus, Erica.


South of Dikti Mountains, near Kato Simi.
Altitude: 580m. Aspect: South. Slope: 1:4 up river bed, 1:0.5 up sides. Shade: 50%. Soil: Litter layer 2-10cm, decomposing litter 2cm. Clay loam, lots of organic matter, no redness, some stones, some rocks sticking through surface. Gulley with near vertical sides rising at a slope of 1:3 perhaps steeper. South facing gully, warm deep leaf litter Very healthy plants, lots of regeneration. Some growing in tree crotches up to 1m from the ground.
Growing with: Iris unguicularis, Vinca major, Platanus orientalis, Myrtus communis, Nerium oleander, Pinus brutia, Clematis cirrhosa, Rubus fruticosa, Lonicera, Ranunculus cretica, Geranium robertianum, Tanus communis, Hedera helix, Urginea maritima, Carex sp., Arisarum vulgare, Valeriana, Phlomis cretica, Erica, Euphorbia


Up the mountain behind Elounda.
Altitude: 244m. Aspect: North-northeast, Slope: 1:2, Shade: 0-80%, Soil: Red clay. Fairly stable scree, some under Quercus coccifera. Plants slightly stressed – habitat seemed dry for C. creticum.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Salvia triloba, Phydellus astebus, composites, Mulcomia sp., Ranunculus asiaticus, Annagyrus sp., thistles, Urginea maritima, Geranium robertianum, Arisarum vulgare, Clematis cirrhosa, Umbelliferas, grasses. Euphorbia creticus, Acanthus spinosisima, Dracunculus, Asphodelus aestivus, Urginea maritima


North of Elounda, between Kato Loumas and Vrouhas.
Altitude: 244m. Aspect: North. Slope: 1:2, Shade: 80%, No soil data. Under a tree, shallow gully manipulated by cultivation. Some olives. Goat droppings. Reasonable regeneration. Plants very healthy and very vigorous (huge). Small population.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Oxalis pres capae Callacatome vallosa, Dracunculus, Salvia triloba, Urginea maritima, Sarcopterum spinosum, thistles.


West of Elounda, North-northeast of Neapoli, between Nofalias and Kourounes.
Altitude: 549m. Aspect: East-northeast. Slope: 1:0 to 1:0.5, but 1:1.5 at top of site. Shade: 70%, Soil: No leaf litter, some organic matter in clay. Very rocky with crevices at bottom. More plants where it levelled off to spiny scrub. Growing conditions reasonably good, but flowering sparse at bottom, better at top.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Phlomis, Salvia triloba, Sarcopterum, Euphorbia santhoccum, composites, Salginella, Asphodellus, Urginea, Anenome heldreichii, Allium subhirsuitum, Dracunculus vulgaris, labiates, Pistaceo, Cystus


South-west of Agios Nikolaos, between Kritsa and Kroustas.
Altitude: 366m. Aspect: Gully – Northeast, Plants – Southeast. Slope: 1:4 to 1:1. Shade: 90%, Soil: Litter layer 0-2cm, red clay with some organic matter. Mature Quercus coccifera woodland with much bare ground. Very favourable growing conditions, apart from goat activity – mostly disturbance from trampling, Regeneration very good.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Geranium robertianum, grasses, Phlomis creticum, Callicotome vallosa, composites, thistles, umbelliferas, Asparagus, Urginea, mosses.


Just north of Kato Amigdali, which is west of Agios Nikolaos, south of Neapoli.
Altitude: 519m. Aspect: North (10 degrees), Slope: 1:0.5 to 1:2, Shade: 50+%, Soil: Leaf litter layer 3cm, with 2cm decomposing litter layer. Red clay & organic matter making a loam. Dense Quercus coccifera scrub/woodland. Average growing conditions.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Salvia triloba, Calacotome velosa, Sarcopterum sppinosum, Iris unguicularis, Oxalis pres-capae, Labiates, Geranium robertianum, grasses, Galium, umbellifera composites, Asphodelus aestivas, Allium, Daphne, Carex.


Northeast of Lassithi Plain, Southwest of Neapoli. Just out of Exo Potami.
Altitude: 854m. Aspect: Southeast, Slope: 1:1, Shade: 50%, No soil data. Open Quercus coccifera woodland, some lose rocks. Not many plants in flower probably due to altitude.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Salvia triloba, Nerium oleander, Euphorbia, Taraxicum, Trifolium, mosses, Cystus, Paeonia, Clematis, Sarcopterum spinosum, umbelliferas, grasses, legumes, Daphne sericea, Ranunculus creticus, Ranunculus ficaria.


Lassithi Plain: On path to Kronos Cave.
Altitude: 854m. Aspect: West. Slope: 1:4. Shade: 50-60%, No soil data. Old terraces with Quercus coccifera woodland. Reasonable regeneration, but a relatively small population. No flowers yet, probably due to altitude.
Growing with: Quercus coccifera, Euphorbia characias, grasses, Hedera helix, umbelliferas, Rubus, Prunus, Rubrae, Osyris, Sarcopterum spinosum, Cystus, Asphodelus aestivus, Daphne sericea, composites, labiates.


South side of Lassithi Plain. Above road at the east exit from Kaminaki.
Altitude: 1068m. Aspect: North. Slope: almost 1:0. Shade: 90%. Soil: Leaf litter 1cm. Soil quite high in organic matter but still a clay base. Moist, probably due to irrigation above. Regeneration very good, and very dense but restricted population. No flowers probably due to altitude.