Flora Observation

Thanks to its high altitude, Taygetos is one of the top mountainous areas in Greece in terms of flora diversity.
There are four vegetation zones in Taygetos. Up to 700-800 m, the most common are the Mediterranean maquis, with a wide variety of shrubs and phryganas.

The main spieces include hollies, arbutus, schinus, maples, wild pear trees, etc. From 700-800 m. to 1,700-1,800 m. is the zone of mountain conifers, the black pine (pinus nigra), the fir and the cedar being the predominant species. Higher, up to 2,000 m., extends the so-called subalpine zone, where only a few firs and black pines grow and the ground is covered with perennial dwarfish plants and small shrubs. Above 2,000 m is the alpine zone, where there are no trees at all and only dwarfish perennial plants grow between the rocks and the rocky meadows. In Taygetos there is also the so-called «no–zone» vegetation of the ravines.

The predominant species of this type of vegetation is the plane tree (platanus orientalis), which grows on the banks of streams and in ravines, regardless of altitude. The flora of Taygetos is extremely rich and includes more than 1,000 species of plants. Of these, 33 are endemic to the region and 100 are endemic to Greece. However, there are species that, without being endemic, are very rare in Greece and Europe and have Asian origins. The aquilegia ottonis ssp. Taygeta, the astralagus taygeteus, the jurinea taygetea, the campanula topoliana ssp. Tordifolia and the hypericum taygeteum. There are also many orchids, crocuses and bellflowers.

Mountain Parnonas also hides an invaluable flora. Its geological history, its peculiar climatic conditions and its intense morphology of many peaks, ravines, slopes, torrents, etc., have created an impressive variety of enviromental conditions, ideal for the growth of many different plants. The forests of Parnonas consist of three species of conifers: the Kefalonian fir (abies cephalonica), the black pine (pinus nigra) and the rare juniperus drupacea, as well as oaks, plane trees and carob trees. Tea and mushrooms are very common in the mountain and there are also many cherry trees, walnut trees, fig trees and vineyards. Academic research, propose a list of more than 900-1,000 species and subspecies of plants in Parnonas. Most of these spieces are common but there are also many rare ones.

A total of 113 rare plants have been identified to date, some of which are unique in Europe, such as the local Parnon endemics and some rare Asian species. Other species are endemic only to the Southern Peloponnese and to Greece in general, including 69 species and subspecies that are endemic to Peloponnese with a medium-wide distribution to Greece. In Parnonas there are 11 rare species and subspecies with the most important being the Juniperus drupacea and the Thalictrum orientale Boiss. Other rare species include Astragalus lactaeus, Helianthemum apenninum, Taxus baccata, and others. In Panonas there are also spieces that do not exist in any other part of the world and they are characterized as local endemics of Parnonas. These spieces include: Viola parnonia, Asperula elonea, Asperula malevonensis, Astragalus agraniotii, Centaurea laconica, Centaurea athoa ssp. parnonia, Cyclamen repandum ssp. peloponnesiacum var. vividum and others.