More than 700 plant species, such as Lilium chalcedonicum, Lilium candidum etc., grow in the different habitats of the National Park. The composition and distribution of plant species is influenced by climate, geomorphology and geology.
Various alpine plants and herbs, such as salep, wild mint, tea, oregano, crocuses, narcissi and many other plant species, flourish in the clearings between the forests and the alpine fields. These plants emit a mixture of characteristic scents of the mountainous areas.
Among the rare, endemic or endangered species there are some, such as Seseli parnassicum, Allium parnassicum, Sesleria vaginalis, Allium phthioticum, Barbarea sicula etc., which are difficult to find, as they either grow in locations which are difficult to reach or their flowering period is very short.
Endemic and rare plant species
According to scientific research, there are 79 rare or endemic plant species in the protected area. 20 of these species are Greek endemic taxa and 59 plant taxa that flourish only in the wider area of the Balkans.
But what we call endemic plant? An “Endemic species” is only found in one defined geographical area, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type and nowhere else in the world.
The National Park hosts the Achillea absinthoides, an endemic species of the southern Pindos mountain range, and the Hieracium trikalense, an endemic species of the northern and southern Pindos mountain range. Other remarkable or rare plants are, for example, the Fritillaria thessala, the Allium parnassicum, the Galium degenii and the orchids. The Balcan lizard orchid (Himantoglossum caprinum) with its characteristic long tongues, blossoms in the summer (June-August).
Moreover, especially remarkable is the presence of Solenanthus albanicus, a rare species that belongs to the Boraginaceae family and flourishes in the National Park. Solenanthus albanicus has a very restricted distribution, therefore, is protected by European and international conventions [Appendix II, Directive 92/43/EU and Appendix I of the Convention for the Preservation of Wildlife and Natural Environment (Bern Convention)]. This species is being protected in Greece by virtue of the Presidential Decree 67/81 (Official Government Gazette 23Α/30-01-1981). It is found only at the Tzoumerka Mountain, on the Grammos and Smolikas mountains.