The Wild Flowers of Skopelos

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For those who love Skopelos and the wildflowers of Greece

 
red Red/Red.htmlRed/Red.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0
orange/yellowYellow_Orange/Yellow_Orange.htmlYellow_Orange/Yellow_Orange.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
green/brownGreen_Brown/Green_Brown.htmlGreen_Brown/Green_Brown.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0
blue Blue/Blue.htmlBlue/Blue.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
purple/mauvePurple_mauve/Purple_mauve.htmlPurple_mauve/Purple_mauve.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
pinkPink/Pink.htmlPink/Pink.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
whiteWhite/White.htmlWhite/White.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
treesTrees_%26_shrubs/Trees_%26_shrubs.htmlTrees_%26_shrubs/Trees_%26_shrubs.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0
orchidsOrchids/Orchids.htmlOrchids/Orchids.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0
 


The Asteraceae Plant Family

(also known as Compositeae)

18 Feb 2019



The Asteraceae, the sunflower or daisy family, can stimulate frustration in gardeners, delight in children, the fascination of botanists, the intrigue of mathematicians and the enthusiasm of foragers.




The sunflower or daisy family, the Asteraceae,  is the largest plant family in the world with over 1,500 genera and over 23,000 species and inevitably such a large family is highly complex with sub-families and tribes.


On Skopelos there are at least 70 species of Asteraceae, ranging from the inconspicuous cudweed (Filago eriocephalus) to magnificent, tall, purple thistles (Carduus nutans and Onopordum tauricus); with several species of daisies, including the simple common white daisy (Bellis perennis) to the impressive  brilliant yellow crown daisy (Glebionis coronarium) and aromatic chamomiles (Anthemis and Chamomila). The family includes many dandelion-like flowers, mostly yellow, which can be difficult to differentiate from each other but also  blue chicory (Cichorium intybus). Many of the yellow dandelions (Taraxacum megalorrhizon, Leontodon tuberosus)  are common and widespread but the rare Asteracea, Centaurea rechingeri, first identified on Kyra Panagia also occurs on Skopelos: sadly I have not yet found a specimen to photograph.


Many of the young green leaves of all these plants are similar; they are known as dandelion greens or pikalida (πικραλίδα) They are collected in springtime by the Skopelitians and eaten as salad, as boiled greens or in delectable pies. There is still a high level of traditional, specialised knowledge of local plants amongst the people of Skopelos, who have little difficulty identifying the many edible plants, collectively known as horta, from the appearance of the leaves, even before the flowers appear.


The new plants added are all members of the large and complex family, the Asteraceae.


Chondrilla juncea
Rush skeletonweedYellow_Orange/Pages/Chondrilla_juncea.html
Filago eriocephalus
CudweedYellow_Orange/Pages/Filago_eriocephalus.html
Hypochaeris achyrophorus
cat’s earYellow_Orange/Pages/Hypochaeris_achyrophorus.html
Inula verbascifolia
Yellow_Orange/Pages/Inula_verbascifolia.html
Leontodon tuberosa
HawkbitYellow_Orange/Pages/Leontodon_tuberosa.html
 
Pallenis spinosa 
Spiny starwortYellow_Orange/Pages/Pallenis_spinosa.html
Pulicaria dysenterica
Common fleabaneYellow_Orange/Pages/Pulicaria_dysenterica.html
Pulicaria odora
Fragrant fleabaneYellow_Orange/Pages/Pulicaria_odora.html
Pulicaria vulgaris
Small fleabaneYellow_Orange/Pages/Pulicaria_vulgaris.html
 
Reichardia picroides
Common brighteyesYellow_Orange/Pages/Reichardia_picroides.html
Rhagadiolus stellatus
Star hawkbitYellow_Orange/Pages/Rhagadiolus_stellatus.html
Taraxacum megalorhizon
DandelionYellow_Orange/Pages/Taraxacum_megalorrhizon.html


More asteraceae facts:

The Asteraceae family is highly successful, with members on every continent except Antarctica; it occupies a wide range of habitats and some species flower in all seasons except for the coldest and driest months. The family contains troublesome weeds, attractive garden flowers, vegetables and the economically important oil producers, sunflowers.


The flower heads of Asteraceae, named after the stars, are not as at first appears single flowers, but a number of florets, from few to many, arranged in such a way as to resemble a regular flower; they are a composite of many tiny florets. The head is surrounded by green bracts, phyllaries, in one or several rows; in thistles these are armed with spines, they are most impressive in the artichoke.


There are two types of florets, tubular and lingular (tongue shaped). The head, the capitulum, may be composed of tubular florets only, the thistles;  lingular florets only, the dandelions; or both tubular and lingular florets, daisies. In the latter the central area  of the capitulum is formed tubular or disc florets surrounded by ligular or ray florets.


A number of species of Asteraceae,  have the ability to produce seeds both sexually, following pollination of the egg cell or asexually by a process known as apomixis, a form of parthenogenesis, without the help of the male gamete, propagating maternal clones.


The tree of life for Asteraceae is extremely complex and categorising species is difficult and sometimes confusing; over recent decades genetic studies have help botanists with this task, throwing fresh light on the subject.


The florets of Asteraceae are arranged in spirals, with the number of spirals following the Fibonacci sequence; 1,2,3,5,8,13….., each floret is placed next to the last at an angle of 137.50; this is known as natures favourite angle or the golden angle.



Mia pikilia - a mixed assortment

A scattering of colour on a green island

10 Jan 2019



For the New  Year and as a reminder of warmer, brighter days I have simply added twelve new flowers from different times of the year, celebrating the rich, diverse flora of Skopelos and reflecting the scattering of colour on a green island.


Agrimonia eupatoria
AgrimonyYellow_Orange/Pages/Agrimonia_eupatoria.html
Antirrhinum majus
Snap dragonPink/Pages/Antirrhinum_majus.html
Blackstonia perfoliata
Yellow-wortYellow_Orange/Pages/Blackstonia_perfoliata.html
Campanula patula
Spreading campanulaPurple_mauve/Pages/Campanula_patula.html
Centaurea urvillei

Purple_mauve/Pages/Centaurea_urvillei.html
Centaurium pulchellum
Lesser centauriaPink/Pages/Centaurium_pulchellum.html
Clematis cirrhosa
Evergreen virgin's bowerWhite/Pages/Clematis_cirrhosa.html
Cyclamen hederifolium
Ivy leaved cyclamenPink/Pages/Cyclamen_hederifolium.html
Fumaria officinalis
Common fumitoryPink/Pages/Fumaria_officinalis.html
Misopates orontium
Weasle’s snoutPink/Pages/Misopates_orontium.html
Oxalis corniculata
Creeping wood sorrelYellow_Orange/Pages/Oxalis_corniculata.html
Ruta graveolens
Common rueYellow_Orange/Pages/Ruta_graveolens.html


For more flowers of many colours see

FLOWER INDEX


Wild berries

26 Nov 2018



The purpose of flowers is to produce seeds and the purpose of seeds is to perpetuate the species. The seeds are contained in a fruit and for many shrubs the fruits are sweet berries, which entice animals especially birds to help in the distribution of the seeds. Biologically, a berry is a fruit without a stone produced from a single flower with a single ovary. As autumn progresses and deciduous trees and shrubs loose their leaves, the island is brightened by the bright berries in many colours, red, yellow, blue and purple. Many of the culinary fruits called berries are not true berries, but are all small and juicy.


The five new plants added this month are all shrubs whose flowers are followed by colourful berries.


Crataegus monogyna Hawthorne
Ramping fumitoryTrees_%26_shrubs/Pages/Crataegus_monogyna.html
 
Myrtus communis
Greek myrtleTrees_%26_shrubs/Pages/Myrtus_communis.html
 
Phillyrea latifolia
Mock privetTrees_%26_shrubs/Pages/Phillyrea_latifolia.html
 
Rhamnus alternus
Mediterranean buckthornTrees_%26_shrubs/Pages/Rhamnus_alternus.html
 
Sambucus ebulis
Dwarf elderTrees_%26_shrubs/Pages/Sambucus_ebulus.html


See also:

Arbutus unedo,

Rubus sanctus,

Smilax aspera,

Sorbus domestica.


Click here for more trees of Skopelos.





 

Now more than 250 flowers and trees