INTRODUCTION

Greece is a mountainous country comprising two main land masses joined at the narrow isthmus of the Corinth canal, together with a large number of islands scattered across the Adriatic and Aegean Seas. The climate is typically Mediterranean with a long hot, dry summer and a relatively short but wet winter period. The climate in each particular area is strongly influenced by altitude and position in relation to mountain ranges. Thus the western coastal areas are considerably wetter than eastern areas like Attica. Many of the mountain peaks are high enough to accumulate snow in the winter and coupled with the predominant limestone geology this can provide flowing water throughout the summer in some places.

Tayetos Mountains

The flora of Greece is very diverse with representatives from European and African sources, including a number of endemics. The Mani coastlinesmall distance between coastal habitats and montane ones provides a wide range of different habitats in a small area.

The predominant vegetation communities in the region are Maquis - composed of 2-3 m high hardleaved evergreen scrub found mainly near the coast in wetter regions: Phrygana (garrigue) - dwarf scrub vegetation of dry slopes and hillsides: Montane forests containing coniferous trees. Other communities also exist in specific habitats.

For further information see 'plants of Greece'