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Euphorbia - Fieldwork Activities

Greece (Crete), Jun 2007

Participants: Ricarda Riina and Manuel Portilheiro.

Fieldwork in Crete was a real treat; the beauty of this island is just breathtaking and Euphorbias were, for the most part, very easy to find. We hiked up two of the highest peaks of the island (Pachnes and Melindaou) and drove along the amazing northern coast. We also visited several gorges looking for some rare species, and found most of what we were looking for. Euphorbia dendroides was almost leafless (a summer deciduous species), but we managed to find a few green leaves. Also leafless was E. sultan-hassei, which we found high up on the cliffs of a gorge almost impossible to collect. It was actually very useful to have a rockclimber in the team!

Beside the two species mentioned above, we also found E. herniarifolia, E. acanthothamnos, E. paralias, E. characias, E. hypericifolia, E. serpens, E. peplis, E. chamaesyce, and E. prostrata. For our surprise E. serpens (a weedy chamaesyce) turned out to be a new record for Greece. Unfortunately we were too late in the season to be able to see E. dimorphocaulon, whose tubers we tried in vain to find.

Cushion vegetation at mid elevation (750 m) with E. acanthothamnos (yellow-brownish cushions).

E. acanthothamnos in fruit, a locality at 2100 m on our way to peak Melindaou

The same species (E. acanthothamnos) close to sea level (orange and brown cushions).

A patch of the summer deciduous E. dendroides by the sea shore (brownish shrubs).

E. peplis growing on sandy beaches.

Climbing up the gorge cliffs to reach E. sultan-hassei.

The only green leaves of E. sultan-hassei we found!

E. herniarifolia on top of the Pachnes summit.

E. herniarifolia

Desertic summit of Pachnes where E. herniarifolia grows along with few other flowering plants.

© PBI Euphorbia Project