The Cretan flora has always provided the Cretan household the possibility of an economic and easy food. Later greens and vegetables were the main staple of the poor farmers and the land. Most often consumed raw, as found in the fields, and other boiled or cooked in various ways. We do not know exactly how they cooked greens ancient Cretans. The diets of Cretans were always rich greens and vegetables. The tastes of each region is determined not only the combinations of herbs derived from the Cretan nature and ways of cooking. The "Moloch" of Byzantine eaten boiled or fried (after boiling) as "sfougato" (omelet) with eggs. Mylopotamos Rethymnon eaten the tender shoots of nettle as "sfougato" and "stew" and is delicious. Other vegetables mentioned in Byzantine texts and remain edible in today Crete are the sorrel, the wild amaranth, the spurge and many others.

Many of the Cretan plants used for centuries in folk healing, as they were used by the great physicians of antiquity. Of cultivated vegetables are known to exist, most of those who still cultivated in gardens Cretans. The greens and vegetables eaten raw by older Cretans are of excellent quality and are currently considered excellent food. Usually the greens are prepared salads that accompanied the daily meal.

We see it from the seacoast up mountainous area. It occupies a large part of the flora of Crete to land, but also in stony soils, rocky shores and in fallow fields. A big part of it, giving us spectacular flowers.

The most famous herbs of Crete are:

Stamnagathi (Cichorium Spinosun).

The grass to most enthusiasts and what grows mainly on the coast that is (because of salt) and delicious. You'll find them in the mountainous area between rocks, with characteristic thorny inflorescence. In recent years grown in different areas of Crete and Greece, while exports reported and nurseries for cultivation in Italy. 

Medication for the ancients, as we are informed by Dioscorides, enjoys long-justifiably-assessment in Crete. Collected and eaten with oil and vinegar. The plant is a shrub stamnagathi thorny, but thorns are not so sharp as to render difficult the collection of small edible green leaves. The name is an old habit of Cretans: With these bushes covered their mouths pitcher, not to enter into the water bugs). As with all herbs of Crete, the preparation of the salad depends on local circumstances and the imagination of every housewife. There are rare cases stamnagathi used mixed with other greens with a little onion (used green onions and, mainly, the aboveground parts) and dill.

The radiki (Cichorium intibus).

Wanted to tastiness, abundant and fallow crop field is presented with different variations in shape, color and presence or fluff sheets. Particularly in Crete estimated the "Goulas" the radical, which is believed to have a "concentrated" heal properties. Generally all bitter herbs are considered "drugs" when they heal, or "poison" when poison.

The purslane (Portulaca Oleracia).

The famous throughout Greece "purslane." Native and cultivated in Crete, is a great summer salad season. Usually salads made with raw purslane is very tasty, as mixed or marouli, or tomato and cucumber, or parsley and onion, while not infrequently made salad with boiled egg and potato. According to recent inquiries or high content of fats that fight cholesterol purslane makes excellent and healthy food.

The Papoulis or fishing or curves (Lathyrus ochrus).

Vegetable cultivated mainly used as salads and almost always raw. The taste is slightly bitter. During the period of the Great Lent is one of the greatest Lenten dishes of Crete. Eaten with oil and vinegar, while in many cases there is salted and oiled (during fasting days is not permitted oil consumption). In many areas of Crete came along with another raw artichoke, the local drink "raki".

Artichoke (wild).

Thorny artichoke. Eaten raw as a salad as appetizer came with raki. 

Onions Kassanon.

Medium size, elongated, white flesh. Grown in the region of Kassanon Arkalochori. Those are sweet onions. Preferably used in salads.

Bulbs (askordoulakkoi).

Bulbous, vegetable. Eaten boiled with oil and vinegar. With garlic and dill are particularly tasty.


Cherso wild, herbaceous, annual or biennial plant. Eaten leaf stems and roots, usually boiled, but as fricassee. It is very tasty and healthy vegetable.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel).

Native, perennial herb of the family Umbelliferae. The leaves and tender shoots are collected from January to June, a time when the plant blooms. The fruits of the plant (fennel) are aromatic and used as flavoring or the pharmaceutical industry.

Agriopraso or chives (Allium Schoenoprasum, chives).

It belongs to the family of Leiriodon. Grows from November to April in moist and cool parts. The flavor is milder than the leek and sweet onion. It can be eaten in soups, pies and salads. In ancient culinary and botanic secretariat have dozens of reports in agriopraso.

Scully: Tragopogon (Tragopogon porrifolius L., Salisify or Oyster plant).

Plant family of composers. Theophrastus named the plant "tragopogon ', ie' goat's beard." Collected from January to March for the tender leaves, which are lanceolate and resemble the leek, though it is much smaller and narrower.

Zochos: soybean (Sonchus oleraceus L., annual sow thistle).

Plant family of composers. The best time is when the collection is still small, when the tender shoots have milky texture and leaves a pleasant taste. Zochos The plant is widespread and can be found very easily.

Kafkalithra: Tordylio the Apulia ( Tordylium Apulum L., hartwort).

They are annuals and herbaceous plant belonging to the family Umbelliferae. Brittle or has jagged tear sheets with strong odor, so in some areas they call "Myronia."

Stafylinakas: roundfish ( Daucuscarota , Queen Anne's Lace).

Type sarkorizo, biennial belonging to the family of Umbelliferae. From this species originated with the passage of time, the familiar carrot. Stafylinakas is the ancient wild carrot with white residue and aroma. The tender shoots of the plant have a strong taste and smell.

Plantain: Plantain-plantain ( Plantago, Plantain ).

Plant family Plantaginidon. Generally the plantain grows in wet places, has large leaves which protrude five nerves, they got the name. The leaves have a mild taste, sweet and cool. Collected from December to July. In the rest of Greece and Europe is only suitable as a drink, while the Cretan cuisine inserted into the variety of wild edible greens. The tradition refers to this plant as a cure, mainly for insect bites and wounds slow to heal.

Achatzikas: Skandix the comb of Venus ( Scandix pectenveneris L. , Venus Comb or shepherd's needle).

Herbaceous plant belonging to the family Umbelliferae. The achatzikoi weeds are gathered during the winter and spring when it is still young, tender. Distinguished by its characteristic pleasant flavor. The wild grass that has been known since antiquity with the name Skandix and was widely used in cooking because of the caustic and pleasant odor.

Lagoudopaximado: Glichoma (Glechoma hederacea, ground ivy).

Herbaceous plant belonging to the family Labiatae. It grows in cool and shady places, preferably in the roots of bean and within skina. Abounds mainly in Eastern Crete, and is used in large quantities stems and leaves. Given the particular aromatic flavor, is often added to foods instead of parsley. The lagoudopaximado or glichoma the ivy leaf ivy looks like, not only in name but also in form. The stems creep, but its leaves are erect.

Gorgogiannis: pharmaceutical or verbena verbena ( Verbena oficinalis , verbena or vervain).

Perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the family of vervenidon. The name is from the words rattling (= fast) and vale, due to its ability to stop bleeding. The injectors are odorless and somewhat bitter herb used as theraftiko for various ailments. While in Greece and Europe is only suitable as a drink, Cretan cuisine inserted into the variety of wild edible herbs in small quantities, not for the taste, but as medicine. The ancient Greeks had dedicated the plant to the Druids, dryad, believing they have magical properties.

Stroufouli: Silenus ( Silene vulgaris , Bladder Campion).

It is one of the most delicate and puny weeds of cultivated land. The leaves are lanceolate and collected when they are very young, mainly from January to April. It is slightly bitter and have a strong aroma and flavor. Not eaten whenever flourish, why are poisonous. Botanists gave it the name 'Silenus' in commemoration of the Dionysian mythology Silenus.

Maroulida, butt, etc. dandelion (Taraxacum sp.).

There are various kinds of Taraxacum (minimum, allepicum, bithynicum, hellenicum, megalorhizon, and perhaps officinale) in Crete, collected under different names by region. The name "Maroulida" used in former Kydonia and Kissamos of Chania Prefecture, while in the former province Apokoronou the same name mentioned in endemic plant lachanefomeno Petromarula pinnata L. H called "Cut" is given to the plant in most areas of Heraklion.

Spurge (Reichardia picroides L.).

Considered fine food. Always eaten raw with vinegar because of its bitter taste. The agalatsida (Reichardia picroides). Is "galaktitis" of Byzantine, the "lactide" the Middle Ages, the spurge or agalatsida the current Crete. Paretymologika associated with milk and often eaten by nursing mothers, believing that the ypovoithouse to "download milk. The taste is sweetish.

Capers (Capparis spinosa L.).

Creeping shrub (spinosa) or without (inermis) spines on the shoots, the coastal and hilly area on rocks, walls or cultivated fields where considered "weed".

Kritamo (Crithmum maritimum).

Usually found in rocks and stony sites coastal zone

Koutsounada, Poppy (Papaver rhoeas L.).

The known our poppy, sometimes (before the discovery of herbicides), responsible for the red carpet of our fields.