Kythnos Island Sand Lilies

White Sand Lilies on Kythnos Island

I have come across the White Sand Lilies, almost everywhere on my travels in Greece. I have seen them on several of the beaches on Kythnos Island and was pleased because this shows that people respect them. The White Sand Lilies have an ancient history, common to the cultures of the Aegean Sea.

Kythnos Island Sand Lilies

When the lilies flower, their seeds are small and black like small pieces of charcoal. But these seeds which drift with the slightest gust of wind are the power of the plant. From the air they land on the sea and with the waves and sea streams they reach other sandy beaches. In this way did not the ancient Greeks colonize throughout the Mediterranean?

The Lilies prefer beaches with dunes, but also sandy pebble beaches. The seed will stay buried for several years until the conditions are ideal to sprout. It forms a bulb with deep roots as it finds the humidity of the sea. The plant grows from the bulb and starts to bloom in August. Wherever you see the Sand Lilies think of their journey to get there and please do not cut them, allow it to continue its journey. You can admire them, take a photo and simply crouch in the sand to smell their intoxicating aroma.

The Sand Lilies scientific name is Pancratium Maritimum and depending on the area of Greece that it is found it is given other names such as Lilies of the Virgin Mary, Lilies of Saint Nicolas, but also Lilies of King Minos or Lilies of Knossos, or Sea Daffodil and Narcissus of the Sea.