Discovering The Natural Wealth Of The Gorge Of Samaria
- by XpatAthens
- Wednesday, 18 February 2015
As they walk through the gorge, visitors are often stunned by the dense vegetation around them: towering pine trees and ancient cypress trees with massive horizontal branches stand proud on the slopes. At higher altitudes there are forests of maple, and where moisture is more plentiful, there are sycamore, oleander and willow trees.
In the National Park area there are more than 450 species of plant, 70 of which are species and sub-species native to Crete, such as Cretan dittany (Amaracus dictamnus – a type of mint), Ebenus cretica - a species of perennial flowering plant of the Fabaceae family, zelkova (Zelkova abelicea) and the Cretan Pine (Pinus brutia cretica).
Some of the plants, such as Bupleurum kakiskalae, a species of flowering plant of the Apiaceae family, Myosotis refracta refracta (a type of forget-me-not) and the orchid Cephalanthera cucculata are found only in the gorge. An idea of the natural wealth of the gorge is given by the fact that no one is yet sure precisely how many species actually exist within it.
There is also, of course, an impressive array of fauna in the gorge, which is home to a host of species and sub-species which are exclusive or almost exclusive to Crete (32 species of mammal, 3 species of amphibian, 11 species of reptile and around 200 species of bird).
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