A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Not an untypical view of Sesklia island, with low shrubs and bushes all of which are adapted to harsh drought conditions for six months of the year, here seen with an olive tree in the foreground.

This photo, taken at the end of the summer, shows  most of the herbaceous plants have been grazed away by the sheep leaving bare ground between the shrubs as seen in the background.

The landscape is dotted with the silvery leaved olive tree.







A tight mass of twigs gives some protection to the green deciduous leaves from foraging sheep.

This is a member of the buckthorn family and is well adapted to the conditions on Seskli island.

Rhamnus oleoides subspecies gracae.










Another shrub that does well here is the phoenicean juniper. Very tolerant of drought conditions it grows on dry rocky shores, pine forests, primarily at low altitudes.

Juniperus phoenicea.










This is the mastic tree or lentisc which is a member of the pistacio family. 

A small evergreen shrub up to 8 metres here seen with its small red fruits and on only a metre and a half tall.

Resin or mastic is obtained from this tree and used in chewing gum. The berries are used to make a strong liqueur called mastica, sold in bars on Symi.



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