The Akamas tulip (Tulipa akamasica) has been highlighted by the agriculture ministry this month to educate people about the island’s endangered plants, this one blooming from March to April, depending on weather conditions.
Tulipa akamasica can only be found in the Akamas peninsula and due to the small range of distribution and the small population of the species, which does not exceed 200 plants, it has been included in the Red Book of the Flora of Cyprus, where it is characterised as a critically endangered species. The plant is also threatened due to overgrazing.
To protect both the habitat and the plant, the forestry department partially fenced off the population in the 1990s. Later, the fence was extended to cover almost the entire area the plant is found in as part of the population outside the fence was dangerously degraded due to overgrazing. In addition, an attempt is underway to install the plant in the botanical gardens of the forestry department.
Tulips are found in Europe, West and Central Asia and North Africa. In Cyprus, the genus is represented by three species: the endemic Tulipa akamasica, the Tulipa cypria, as well as the acclimatised alien species Tulipa agenensis.