Greek version
Endemic species Rare-Threatened Fungi Bryophytes-Lichens Herbarium


ENDEMIC SPECIES

It is mentioned that the Hellenic flora is among the richest in Europe. However, its importance lies not only to the large number of taxa, but also to its endemic species, i.e. taxa native to Greece exclusively.

Bellflower of Parnitha (Campanula celsii ssp. parnesia)The term endemic is totally relative. Generally, when a plant or animal species is described as endemic, it means that this species exists only in that particular area and nowhere else. Endemic species are a very important category, because they are observed exclusively in one geographical area and they provide the researchers with information about the past and the special ecological factors of that area. The study of endemic plants is extremely interesting, as they are organisms growing mostly on steep rock crevices, on very little soil and usually with no protection against winds and extreme weather conditions. It is really amazing how several of these plants manage to survive in such inhospitable environments and most intriguing, why they choose to live there.

Catchfly of Parnitha  (Silene oligantha ssp. parnesia)The vascular flora of Mt Parnitha comprises c. 1,100 taxa, 92 of which are Greek endemics and 42 are Balkan endemics (Aplada, 2003). Of the 92 Greek endemics, others are widely distributed, others are restricted to Sterea Ellas, others to South Greece etc. Most of them are widely distributed in various areas of Greece (e.g. Grecian fir- Abies cephalonica). Two species are exclusive Parnitha endemics: the bellflower (Campanula celsii ssp. parnesia) and the catchfly of Parnitha (Silene oligantha ssp. parnesia).

The bellflower of Parnitha grows on limestone and forms very beautiful purple carpets on the rocks, at the end of spring. The catchfly of Parnitha is in bloom at mid- to late June and also grows on limestone. So, when you visit Mt Parnitha, take a close look at the rocks standing on the roadsides. You will see very interesting forms of life! You have to be very careful though, not to uproot or cut plants, as several of them are rare and protected by the Greek State, but also by international laws and conventions. Let us treat nature with respect, as it deserves it.

The Forest Service of Parnitha issued in 2005 an illustrated guide for the rare and endemic plants of the National Park of Parnitha, which is addressed not only to scientists, but also to the public [Aplada E., 2005: "RARE AND ENDEMIC PLANTS OF PARNITHA NATIONAL PARK", Forest Service of Parnitha, Acharnes. (In Greek). ISBN: 960-88921-0-4]. The book is freely distributed by the Forest Service of Parnitha.

frontcover of the plant guide

 
   
 
 
 
 

 

Play our game and meet the animals living on Mt Parnitha!

 
 
 

Contact:

  Forest Service of Parnitha
  Thrakomakedonon Ave.    142, Acharnes. GR13601
   Athens, Greece.

Tel.: 0030 210 2434061-3 fax.: 0030 210 2434064

mail: daspar@otenet.gr

 
   
           
         
 

 Design-editing:
  Eirini Aplada, Biologist-M.Sc. Environmental Biology and Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystem Management

mail: iaplada@yahoo.com
©2006