Endemics

As far as endemic species are concerned, two endangered types of Silenus spread in the area. The sandy beaches of Kouremenos are home to populations of the endemic subspecies of eastern Crete Silene ammophila subsp. ammophila, while the islet in the cove of Vai is the southernmost point where Silene Holzmannii, endemic to the southeastern Aegean, has spread to. Cape Kavo Sidero is also home to two closely related endemic species: Anthemis filicaulis and Asperula crassula, the world population of which is limited only to this specific cape!

Bellevalia sitiaca is also endemic to the eastern part of the prefecture of Lasithi and it grows on rocky positions at low altitudes, while shoreline rocks are home to two more endemic species of Kasos and the northeastern edge of Crete: Limonium sitiacum and Carlina sitiensis. Other species that are also important to the area are Viola scorpiuroides and Allium longanum, two African species, particularly important for Europe, since their growth has been limited to Crete and Kythera, as well as Centaurea aegiolophila, a species of the Eastern Mediterranean, also very significant for Europe, because its areas of growth are only limited to NE Crete, mainly along the coastal zone of Plakopoules and Chiona.

The Cretan Date Palm (Phoenix theophrasti) is characterized as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List and it is protected by Greek legislation. Subpopulations are now growing in very few areas of Crete, the most important and multitudinous of which is that of Vai, where it has formed the renowned Palm Forest.

Other important endemic species of flora that can be encountered in the area are Campanula creutzburgii, Cirsium creticum , Crepis cretica, Cyclamen creticum, Galium graecum, Nepeta melissifolia, Petromarula pinnata, Symphytum creticum, Tulipa cretica. On vertical rock faces in the area one may also encounter perennial chasmophytes, such as Origanum calcaratum, endemic to the southeastern Aegean, which only grows in Crete between the villages of Roussa Ekklisia and Kryoneri, Thymbra calostachya, which is exclusively endemic to the province of Sitia, and Cretan Ebony (Ebenos creticum), endemic to Crete. The limestone rocks are also dominated by Wild Carnations (Dianthus juniperinus) and Capers (Capparis spinosa).