GR(IoI NPi SPi Pe StE NC NE WAe Kik EAe)
Greece (East Aegean islands present; Ionian Islands present; Kiklades present; North Central Greece present; North Pindos present; North-East Greece present; Peloponnisos present; South Pindos present; Sterea Ellas present; West Aegean islands present)
Native / Non Range-Restricted
Xeric Mediterranean Phrygana and grasslands, Woodlands and scrub, Temperate and submediterranean Grasslands, High mountain vegetation
Presidential Decree 67/81
It is reasonable to recognize C. sieberi s.str., the well-known, spring-flowering crocus of the Cretan mountains, as a Cretan endemic. It is recognized by the flower colour: perianth segments white inside, variously striped or suffused purple on the outside. Similar plants from elsewhere in Greece with perianth segments pinkish-lilac on both sides have been included at subspecies rank (Mathew 1982), viz. C. sieberi subsp. atticus (Attiki, Andros, Evvia), C. sieberi subsp. sublimis (from N Peloponnisos to former S Jugoslavia and S Bulgaria) and C. sieberi subsp. nivalis (S Peloponnisos). This subdivision was based on relatively few collections, and with more material now available the differences between subsp. atticus, subsp. sublimis and subsp. nivalis seem to break down. Consistent differences could not be corroborated under cultivation. As a consequence, two species are recognized in the group: (1) C. sieberi, endemic to Kriti and (2) C. nivalis elsewhere in Greece extending to S Bulgaria - without subspecies and with nomenclatural priority over C. atticus (the latter name incorrectly accepted for the taxon in Rukšāns 2010). C. nivalis was described from the summit area of Mt Taigetos. Plants from this locality have rather dark flowers with distinct yellow centre, but plants from other high mountains in Peloponnisos (e.g., Mt Chelmos) are completely indistinguishable, and there are also no clear differences towards plants from lower altitude in Peloponnisos, Attiki, Evvia and elsewhere in mainland Greece (A. Strid).