Flora - Virtual Biodiversity Museum of Cyprus

Go to content

Main menu




Cyprus hosts a great variety of different habitat types. The habitats' diversity reflects into a variety of micro-environments, which can meet the specific needs of a considerable number of plant species. So far, about 2000 taxa (species, subspecies, varieties) have been identified in Cyprus, out of which 144 are endemic to the island (108 species, 33 subspecies, 3 varieties). However, new endemic species are recorded and published in scientific publications from time to time. Apart of this, new scientific publications with up to date information may change the number of the Cyprus endemic plant species. A few number of plant taxa are considered to be non endemics. It is worth mentioning that, most of the endemic plants of Cyprus are found in the two mountain ranges of the island. Hence, 100 endemic plants of Cyprus are found in Troodos mountain range, out of which 45 are local endemics of Troodos mountain range and 56 in Pentadactylos range, out of which 14 are local endemics of Pentadactylos range.



Many of the taxa of Cyprus' flora and especially some of the endemics, are considered to be rare since they are found in small and few populations, in the island. The survival of many of these, is under immediate threat due to external, anthropogenic pressures. During the last few years, these pressures have been more intense, particularly because of certain factors such as changes in agriculture (extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers), rapid increase of tourism activities, expansion of the mountainous road network, urbanization of large natural areas, development of various activities within natural areas (military activities, quarrying, golf courses etc.), the introduction of non-native species and the climate change.

Astragalus macrocarpus subsp. lefkarensis


According to the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus (2007) (which evaluates the conservation status of 328 species of Cyprus' flora, based to the criteria set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)) 23 taxa are characterized as Regionally Extinct (RE), 46 as Critically Endangered (CR), 64 as Endangered (EN), 128 as Vulnerable (VU), 45 as Data Deficient (DD), 15 as Near Threatened (NT) and 7 as Least Concern (LC).

In addition, 45 out of the 328 species included in the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus are Cyprus endemic. These are categorised as: 5 Critically Endangered (CR), 8 Endangered (EN) and 32 Vulnerable (VU).

In 2011, IUCN published the revised version of
'European Red List of Vascular Plants', which is the most updated evaluation of the conservation status, some of the most important plant taxa that are found in Europe. As a result, out of the 45 Cyprus endemic taxa included in the  Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus, 10 are now characterised as Critically Endangered (CR), 5 as Endangered (EN), 25 as Vulnerable (VU), 1 as Near Threatened (NT) and 4 as Data Deficient (DD).

Revised Conservation Status of the 45 Endemic species



Cyprus, as one of the 27 Member-States of the European Union, participates in the formulation and implementation of the European legislation regarding the protection and conservation of member-states' natural environment. It is important to mention that, a significant number of plant species found on the island (endemic or not) are considered to be of great Community interest and are included in instruments for the regulation of European and International legislation.

Such instruments are:

The Community Directive 92/43/EEC for the Conservation of Natural Habitats and the Wild Flora and Fauna (Habitats Directive),
The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and the Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and
The Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

To be more specific:

  • Eighteen taxa of Cyprus' flora, are included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC),

  • Twenty seven taxa of Cyprus' flora are included in Appendix I of the Convention for the Conservation of European Wildlife and the Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and are characterized as Strictly Protected,
  • All the species of the genus Cyclamen and all the representatives of the family Orchidaceae are included in Annex II of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Finally, seven species of Cyprus
' flora are included in the IUCN's publication 'The Top 50 Mediterranean Island Plants' which includes fifty of the rarest and most threatened species of the Mediterranean islands.

List and Pictures of Endemic Plants of Cyprus

Photo Album of Selected Non Endemic Species

Back to content | Back to main menu