Flower of the month | May | Paeonia clusii

Paeonia clusii or Cretan peony is one of the most spectacular flowers of Crete. Endemic to Crete and Karpathos, it flowers in April and May. It’s not especially rare but there aren’t many places where you can find it either.

Paeonia clusii (Cretan white peony)

Paeonia clusii in a forest above Anopolis (at an altitude of about 1300m)

They tend to grow at medium altitude (500 to 1600m).

Paeonia clusii (Cretan white peony)

Paeonia clusii (Cretan white peony)

A good place to see them is in the gorge of Samaria where they grow quite abundantly below Agios Nikolaos. Unfortunately because this is quite a low altitude (around 500m) they tend to flower in April before the gorge of Samaria opens to the public.

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