Greek version
Phrygana Macchie Pine forest Firforest Oak thickets
Brushwood Riverine vegetation Chasmophytes Meadows


The term phrygana is used for an open dwarf scrub dominated by low, often cushion-shaped, spiny shrubs. These shrubs are extremely high temperature- and drought-tolerant and they grow at low altitudes. Several phrygana are aromatic and well known for their medicinal purposes, as they are being used in herbal medicine since ancient times. phrygana in Parnitha's foothills

This vegetation type is characteristic of the mediterranean ecosystems and is considered as the result of macchie or forest degradation. Phrygana usually grow on poor and rocky limestone and siliceous substrates or at areas previously repeatedly burnt by fires.

The most common phryganic species are: thyme (Coridothymus capitatus, Thymus sp.), cistus (Cistus creticus, Cistus salviifolius), St. John's wort (Hypericum empetrifolium), sage (Salvia triloba), thorny burnet (Sarcopoterium spinosum), heather (Erica manipuliflora), hairy thorny broom (Calicotome villosa), asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius), garden horehound (Ballota acetabulosa), common asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus), shrubby globularia (Globularia alypum) etc.

Phrygana are very important formations, because they host several reptiles, as well as numerous plant species, including most of the wild orchids found on Parnitha.

greek spiny spurge (Euphorbia_acanthothamnos)Due to the essential oils contained in many phryganic species, these shrubs are very dangerous for fire outbreaks during the summer. The Forest Service of Parnitha clears the phrygana growing under pines before summer, to prevent fires.



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



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

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



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