SPECIES DESCRIPTION
BIARUM TENUIFOLIUM subsp. IDOMENAEUM

Family:- ARACEAE

Common Name:- None

Synonyms:- None

Meaning:- Biarum (Gr) A name used by the Greek physician and botanist
Dioscorides for an arum-like plant.
                  Tenuifolium (L) With narrow leaves, slender-leaved
                  Idomenaeum (L) For Idomeneus, in Homer's Odyssey, King of Crete.

General description:- Low tuberous perennial.

Leaves:-
1) Lamina:
   a) 5-20(-40) cm x 3-15 mm.
   b) linear to oblong or spathulate. appresed to the ground, margins  wavy
   c) with or without a distinct stalk (petiole).

Flowers:-
1) Flowers:
   a) female, zone c. 3 mm.
   b) male, zone 6-8(-12) mm.
   c) sterile, well-developed, numerous, mainly simple.
   d) filaments, between male and female zones and also some (very variable in
       number) above the male.
2) Scape:
   a) not more than 5 cm, underground.
3) Spathe:
   a) 8-20(-30) cm.
   b) oblong often recurved.
   c) tube, 25-6 cm, cylindrical, whitish.
   d) lamina, lanceolate or narrowing gradually to a point (acuminate), not hooded.
       dark purple, tinged with green outside, 3-5 times as long as the tube.
3) Spadix:
   a) slender, exceeding the spathe.
   b) purple. 
   c) staminodes straight.
   d) anthers obtuse, splitting to release the seeds (dehiscing) by lateral slits.
   e) stigma sessile.

Fruit:-
1) Seeds:
   a) 4-5 x 2-3 mm.

Key features:-
1) Spathe not cucullate.
2) Tube not more than 1/3 as long as the lamina. 
3) Sterile flowers present above the male, as well as between male and female.

Habitat:- Dry stony hillslopes, rock crevices, grassy places. 0-1200 m.

Distribution:- Cretan endemic with limited distribution. Rare.
.
Flowering time:-.Oct-Nov. rarely in late spring or early summer

Photos by:- Vangelis Papiomytoglou                    

Status:-
Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare according to the Red Data
Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece (1995)