SILVER COIN 5 EURO DEDICATED TO ENDEMIC FLORA OF GREECE ― IRIS HELLENICA. Iris hellenica was described as a new species in 2010. Resembling Iris germanica, a widely cultivated plant of hybrid origin, it is distinguishable primarily by its smaller height (25-55 cm), smaller leaves, fruits and seeds and the lighter bluish-purple tint of its flowers. It blooms from May to early June. Its main distribution is in the mountains of the northern Peloponnese (Kyllini, Chelmos, Saitas, Erymanthos), where it is mostly found in openings of Greek fir (Abies cephalonica) forest, as well as in rocky areas, at altitudes of 1,300-1,800 metres. Populations of Iris hellenica have also been discovered on Mount Oiti in Central Greece, indicating a phytogeographical affinity between the mountains of that
region and of the northern Peloponnese. This can be explained by the fact that the two regions, separated today by the Corinthian Gulf, were once united (until 900,000 years ago).
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