March 2017

Arum purpureospathum P. C. Boyce

 

 

Arum purpureospathum is an endemic species of Kriti and Karpathos (KK) floristic region, known to occur in a few sites in western Crete (Sfakia district) and in Karpathos. The locus classicus is the settlement of Palea Agia Roumeli, at the exit of Samaria gorge, where A. purpureospathum grows in stony fields, but also among ruins of stone houses and terraces. It is also often found in shady locations under thickets with carob trees and olive groves, at altitudes ranging from sea level to 800 m (at Agios Ioannis settlement). The flowering period begins from the end of February until early April, depending on the altitude. The species is considered Vulnerable (VU), according to the Red Data Book of the Greek Flora and the population size in Crete is estimated to 1100-1500 individuals. Arum purpureospathum is not threatened by grazing, as plant parts are toxic for animals, nevertheless potential threats are the use of pesticides in olive groves, as well as excavations and clearings within the settlements of Palea Agia Roumeli and Agios Ioannis.

A. Kaltsis