Alcea biennis (Alcea pallida subsp. cretica)

 

 

 

Alcea pallida  - Click to enlarge

Alcea biennis

Alcea pallida  - Click to enlarge

Alcea biennis by a road side

Alcea pallida  - Click to enlarge

Alcea biennis

Alcea pallida  - Click to enlarge

Alcea biennis

There is a little bit of confusion about the name of this flower: Cretan plants have been treated as Alcea cretica or, in Flora Europaea (1968), as A. pallida subsp. cretica. In the Med-Checklist (1989), A. pallida is treated as a synonym of A. biennis, and A. (pallida subsp.) cretica is treated as doubtfully distinct from A. biennis. So as the Med-Checklist is the more recent let's call the plant Alcea biennis.

If you come to Crete in June or July and drive along small country roads it will hard to miss Alcea biennis, an impressive plant with a height that can exceed two metres. The leaves are large and hairy and the large flowers are pink or purple. They can be found from sea level up to an altitude of 700m.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

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