Flora of Alonnisos
Flora of Alonnisos
Alonissos, a place with low elevation variation and covered by vegetation types that form habitats of similar characteristics, hosts a rather limited diversity of plants. Although no systematic research has been carried out, the observations made so far summarise a flora of about 410 species and subspecies.
Most of the plants of the Alonissos flora have a wide distribution in Eastern Mediterranean, but there are also some rare endemics of the Sporades group, the northern Aegean area or Greece.
Flora of the woods anf the maquis
In Alonissos, as in the whole Mediterranean zone, the succession of species during the year is rapid. As early as January, the crocus Crocus nivalis appears together with the Anemone apennina subsp. blanda and the early irises Iris tuberosa.
On the dry-stone walled terraces Gladiolus italicus rises hastily and soon after Asphodelus ramosus dominates. Anagallis arvensis blooms in the old fields it comes here too in two colors, orange and blue -, while somewhere further on the bright yellow Crepis hellenica, a Greek endemic, raises its complex flower. Alliums are represented by at least two members of the genus, Allium roseum and Allium subhirsutum.
Flora of the phrygana
The very common Centaurea raphanina subsp. mixta, related to the local endemic Centaurea rechingeri, set up their purple flowers among the stones. Lower down, the Drimia numidica rises its inflorecence through last year's yellowed leaves.
In the pine forests we will find small colonies of the very common Prasium majus, but also spots of the much rarer Scutellaria sporadum, a plant endemic to the Sporades Islands.
Few plants are still in bloom during the hot and dry Summer of the Sporades region. One of the few colorful presences is Odontites linkii, a Greek endemic that raises its sparse inflorescence on roadsides and disturbed soils.
As the Summer progresses, in the same places Acanthus spinosus remains luscious and Pallenis spinosa still bothers us on untrodden paths; among the common thymes hides a rare Greek endemic, Satureja athoa.
In Autumn, the rocks of mid-elevation zone are home to groups of Sternbergia lutea, while the Greek cyclamens Cyclamen graecum and Cyclamen hederifolium hide under the Kermes oaks.
On the coastal and inland rocks of Alonissos we will find the common Phagnalon rupestre subsp. graecum, the rare Campanula scopelia and the equally rare Symphyandra sporadum, which also resembles a rock bell. The last two plants are endemic to the Sporades.
Smaller rock formations are covered by the shrub-like Ptilostemon chamaepeuce. Rock crevices host Erysimum senoneri, a child of a genus whose several members colonize exclusively the Greek rocks.
Another friend of the rocks, Malcolmia macrocalyx is also a Greek endemic. Finally, next to all these impressive chasmophytes, few hikers will notice the pale yellow Galium reiseri, a rare plant of the coastal limestone rocks, which only grows in Greece.
Text and photos by T. Adamakopoulos
Digital field guide Alonnisos topoguide is available for Android devices as an in-app purchase within the application topoguide Greece. Alonnisos topoguide is a member of the Greek Islands group.
Digital field guide Alonnisos topoguide is also available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices as an in-app purchase within the application Topoguide Greece. There also, Alonnisos topoguide is a member of the Greek Islands group.