Cephalaria squamiflora

 

 

Cephalaria squamiflora (with Bupleurum kakiskalae) - click to enlarge

Cephalaria squamiflora (with Bupleurum kakiskalae)

Cephalaria squamiflora - click to enlarge

Cephalaria squamiflora

Cephalaria squamiflora - click to enlarge

Cephalaria squamiflora

Cephalaria squamiflora - click to enlarge

Cephalaria squamiflora

Cephalaria squamiflora - click to enlarge

Cephalaria squamiflora

Cephalaria squamiflora - click to enlarge

Cephalaria squamiflora

Cephalaria squamiflora is an extremely rare chasmophyte shrublet known in Crete only from two locations above the gorge of Samaria. The photos above were taken in Kakiskla near Linoseli.
Cephalaria squamiflora is endemic to the Aegean region, where it is known from six islands: Gioura, Chios, Ikaria, Amorgos, western Crete (Lefka Ori), and Karpathos (Mt Kalilimni). Four related species occur further west in the Mediterranean basin (Bacchetta & al. 2008): C. balearica in Mallorca, C. bigazzii in south-western Sardinia, C. ebusitana in Ibiza and C. mediterranea in eastern Sardinia (doubtfully also Corsica). (Reference: Bacchetta, G., Brullo, S. & Giusso del Galdo, G. P. 2008: Cephalaria bigazzii (Dipsacaceae), a new relic species of the Cephalaria squamiflora group from Sardinia. – Edinburgh J. Bot. 65: 145-155.)

The plant forms shrublets of narrow leathery leaves and long (up to 60cm) slender and almost leafless heads of white flowers. It flowers in July and August. The photos above were taken on the 24th of August, a little late as many of the flower heads have dried out.

Note the Bupleurum kakiskalae in the top two photos. They share the same habitat in cliffs high above the gorge of Samaria where you can also find Lomolesia albocincta, Staheliana petiolata and Odontites linkii subsp. creticus.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

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