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Akamas knapweed Centaurea akamantis

The Centaurea akamantis is a beautiful, and Critically Endangered, native of Cyprus, found growing in the fissures in canyon walls. It is perfectly suited to these extreme growing conditions, with dense, short hairs on the stems, and tubular-like purple to pink flowers

The species is endemic (found nowhere else) to the island and is now only growing wild in two neighbouring locations in the Akamas peninsula, on the western tip of the island. One population has only 50 individuals, and the other approximately 500. The peninsula is relatively inaccessible, and has a large diversity of flora and fauna, including a loggerhead turtle hatchery. The Baths of Aphrodite, where the goddess is said to have bathed, are also nearby.
 
Centaurea akamantis grows up to 60 cm long, with small greyish-green spear-shaped leaves. The small purplish flower is actually a collection of tiny, densely grouped flowers, resembling one large solitary flower. 
 
The Mediterranean is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions with 25,000 different plant species. This flora is critically threatened from human development and requires urgent protection. The Mediterranean Seed Conservation Partnership is aiming to safeguard the region’s plants.
 
Thanks to Angelos Kyratzis for the photographs.
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