SEP 2009 | SEPTEMBER 2008 | SEP 2007

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Smilex aspera / Common smilex / Αρκουδόβατος / Italienische Sarsaparille - this climbing plant has fairly inconspicuous flowers and is easily overlooked, although its dart-shaped leaves are very distinctive.  It is common across the island, but I came across it more often on this trip to the west of the island than when I am photographing in the east.

Smilex aspera berries - The berries of S. aspera are absolutely stunning and very decorative – a vivid red, they hang in clusters which are a delight to photograph.

Smilex aspera (Botanical illustration - Hans de Vries) - Another brilliant and detailed illustration from Hans de Vries in Holland.

Verbascum spinosum / Spiny verbascum / Βερμπάσκο το ακανθωτό / Dornige Königskerze - This little plant with its bright yellow flowers was growing just below the refuge.  At this time of the year, there is very little in bloom, so its cheerful colour stood out, even though the flowers are small. The Spiny Verbascum is endemic to Crete and is mainly found in the White Mountains.

Carlina - I am not sure which Carlina this is, so help with identification would be appreciated.

Red berries - More red berries, high above the Samaria Gorge.

Autumn (Jan Liodaki) - This very evocative painting by Jan really captures the feel of autumn on Crete.

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