Flora of Rhodes
One thousand three hundred fifty plants have been recorded on Rhodes, eight of which are local endemic, thirteen are endemic to the Aegean and Rhodes and sixty four are endemic to Turkey and Rhodes. Due to the Mediterranean climate, the habitats of the island mainly belong to the Eumediterranean vegetation zone, with evergreen bushes, the most characteristic species being the pistacia (Pistacia Lentiscus), the strawberry tree (Arbutus Unedo) and the kermes oak (Quercus Coccifera), brushwood, the most characteristics species being conehead thyme (Corydothymus Capitatus), spiny burnet (Sarcopoterium Spinosum), oregano (Orgianum sp), asphodel (Asphodelus sp) and Jerusalem sage (Phlomis Fruticosa), as well as hillsides full of Turkish Pine trees (Pinus Brutia) that form rare, mixed forests at places with Mediterranean Cypress trees (Cupressus Sempervirens v Horizontalis). These mixed forests are exceptionally rare in Greece.
The hinterland includes olive groves and vineyards, while the coastal areas are dominated by cedar trees (Juniperus sp) that grow up to the sea line. The unique plant species of Rhodes include oriental sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis), known locally as zidia. The distribution of this tree is limited to the island of Rhodes and to two regions in southwestern Asia Minor. It usually grows near rivers and ravines that flow throughout the year. The large accumulation of butterflies in the renowned ‘Butterfly Valley’ is thought to be due to the oriental sweetgum. Other species include the carob tree (Ceratonia Sitiqua), erica (Erica sp.), the common myrtle (Myrtus Communis), the bay tree (Laurus Nobilis), the Greek strawberry tree (Arbutus Adrachnae), Spanish broom (Spartium Junceum), spiny broom (Calicotome Villosa), sarsaparille (Smilax Aspera), asparagus (Asparagus Acutifolius), oleander (Nerium Oleander), Greek spiny spurge (Euphorbia Acanthothamnos), winter savory (Satureja Thymbra), Jerusalem sage (Phlomis Fruticosa), rockrose (Cistus sp.), lavender (Lavanduta Stoechas), broom (Genista Acanthoclada), amaranto elichrysu, Komper’s.