Where Crete comes into its own, is with its diversity of flora, with over 2000 different specimens identified, of which more than 160 are said to be endemic to the island, with a further 38 found only here and on the island of Karpathos in the Western Dodecanese. Mountainous areas and gorges are the best places to see these endemics, but the foothills are a riot of colour as winter becomes spring, so March, April and May are the best times for keen botanists to visit the island. Orchids are particularly spectacular and diverse, with some 67 varieties accounted for to date.
Crete has the perfect climate for for flowers, being cool and wet in the winter, before Spring brings milder weather and long, hot sunny days. Endemic dicotyledons include the CampanulaCretica, various subspecies of Dianthos Juniperinus, such as Idaues and Kavusicus, amongst many others, whilst endemic monocotyledons such as Allium Platakisii, Bellevalia Sitiaca and Crocus Sieberi can be seen here, and there is even a pteridophyte, namely the Asplenium Creticum, endemic to the island.