The rich flora of Parnassos has attracted the interest of many botanical scientists and amateurs throughout the years. However, their explorations and collections were restricted to high altitudes and rocky areas.
Some of the factors that led to the significant and special formation of the flora are:
1. the geographical location of Parnassos Mt,
2. its varied terrain (ravines, steep and gentle slopes, rounded peaks, rocky outcrops, valleys etc.)
3. the bedrock (hard limestones and dolomites ,flysch and neogene deposits) and soils of each habitat,
4. the climate and the individual microclimates, and
5. various anthropogenic influences.
Most of the rare and endangered plant species are found in Velitsa and Neromana ravines and the rocky habitats of Gerontovrachos , steep slopes , and the wider area above the fir tree-line. Thus, the need for conservation and protection of the natural environment of the wider region is crucial.
Parnassos Mt. hosts plant species found in other Mediterranean regions (Mediterranean /submediterranean species. The most important category, however, is that of the endemic species of Parnassos, as well as of Central Greece and the Greek and Balkan endemic.
Of the 854 taxa recorded (691 species and 153 subspecies including 10 varieties), 5 are local endimites:
-Centaurea musarum Boiss. & Orph.,
-Erysimum parnassi (Boiss. & Heldr.) Hausskn.,
-Euphorbia orphanidis Boiss,
-Bupleurum capillare Boiss. & Heldr.,
-Campanula rupicula Boiss. & Spruner.
Some of the Greek endemic taxa -including the endemic of Central Greece- with considerable interest are:
The endemic Balkan encountered in the area are:
The mediterranean - submediterranean species encountered in the area are:
-Erigeron epiroticus found in the southwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula and sparsely in Italy,
-Acantholimon ulicinum, distributed in Greece and Anatolia,
-Galium incanum subsp. incanum, distributed in Greece and Anatolia, as well,
-Geranium macrostylum, a species found in the Balkans (Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM, Ukraine) as well as Western and Central Anatolia,
-Hieracium hypochoeroides subsp. epirense, spreading in Greece and Switzerland,
-Taraxacum delphicum. This species spreads in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey,
-Thymus longicaulis subsp. chaubardii and Carduus tmoleus, with distribution in the Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia, and
-Dianthus viscidus, with distribution in S. Balkans and N.W. Turkey.
Furthermore, Lactuca intricata – a species found in small populations in Greece- is located on Parnassos Mt., while Sempervivum marmoreum is rare and sparsely occurring.
In addition, there are some other very significant species found in the area: pure stands of Juniperus foetidissima and individual trees of Taxus baccata and Ilex aquifolium. The presence of Alnus glutinosa is also rare in riparian formations. The stand of Quercus ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis under the fir tree-line is considered of great ecological importance.