Monday, July 18, 2011

Cretan mountain tea, Malotira

Then we were out collecting the endemic Cretan 'mountain tea' or Malotira as the locals call it. Its scientific name is Sideritis syriaca ssp. syriaca. It is endemic to Crete, and even here it grows only in the mountains, at altitudes from 900- 2000m, mainly in the white mountains around us. Actually, the leaves you see in the front are Salvia pomifera leaves, the Matotira is just the flowers in the back...

However, the goats and sheep love it, it is a soft plant, doesn't defend itself against the foragers with spikes and spines as so many other Cretan plants. So one has to climb really high, walk hours from where the car reaches, and even then has to be lucky to find the plants intact.. And this year we were lucky. Since it has been raining even now in June, the animals find enough food at lower altitudes, so they don't bother climbing so high...
Our friend Dominique from Nomikiana came with us to collect..
Here you see the dirt road below, and the first plant we encountered..

And Babis on the way...

3 comments:

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  2. nice article !!! and welcome to know more about herbs . .you are doing tremendous work in this area. Wish you all the best.
    Here is my website..www.natureherbs.org

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