The Wild Flowers of Skopelos


For those who love Skopelos and the wildflowers of Greece


Springtime in Skopelos...

4th June 2017

A scattering of colour on a green island

The spring months of March, April and May, on Skopelos, bring forth an explosion of wildflowers in a kaleidoscope colours, brilliant red poppies, blue vipers bugloss, and indigo tassel hyacinths; with more subtly coloured spires of pink tinged asphodels, the creamy-white Reseda lutea or the greenish-yellow of Smyrnium perfoliatum, which appear to illuminate the olive groves.

More new flowers have been added, which have no more in common than they all flower in the spring:

Bellis perennis
Perennial daisyWhite/Pages/Bellis_perennis.htmlWhite/Pages/Bellis_perennis.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0
Reseda lutea
Wild mignonetteWhite/Pages/Reseda_lutea.htmlWhite/Pages/Reseda_lutea.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
Smyrnium perfoliatum
Yellow smyrniumYellow_Orange/Pages/Smyrnium_perfoliatum.htmlYellow_Orange/Pages/Smyrnium_perfoliatum.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0
Silene vulgaris
Bladder campionWhite/Pages/Silene_vulgaris.htmlWhite/Pages/Silene_vulgaris.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0

Echium italicum
Pale buglosBlue/Pages/Echium_italicum.htmlBlue/Pages/Echium_italicum.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
Thymus longicaulis
Creeping thymePink/Pages/Thymus_longicaulis.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
Papaver hybridum
Bristly poppyRed/Pages/Papaver_hybridum.htmlRed/Pages/Papaver_hybridum.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
Scilla hyacinthoides
Large  scillaBlue/Pages/Scilla_hyacinthoides.html

Many more flowers can be found on Flower Index page.

Wallflowers, wallflowers, growing up so high....

26 March 2017

The new plants added for spring all have a predilection for growing in walls. They vary from the humble but elegant ramping fumitory (Fumaria capreolata) to the troublesome weed pellitory-of-the-wall (Parietaria judaica) and the inconspicuous but pretty pale speedwell (Veronica cymbalaria) and the delightful ivy-leaved toadwort (Cymbalaria longipes). A more striking flower, which is often referred to by the name wallflower is the bright purple stock, Matthiola incana,........ click on boxes below to go to page of the flower.

Veronica cymbalaria
Pale speedwellWhite/Pages/Veronica_cymbalaria.htmlWhite/Pages/Veronica_cymbalaria.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0
Cymbalaria longipes
Ivy-leaved toad flaxPurple_mauve/Pages/Cymbalaria_longipes.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Cymbalaria_longipes.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0
Parietaria judaica
Wall pelllitoryGreen_Brown/Pages/Parietaria_judaica.htmlGreen_Brown/Pages/Parietaria_judaica.htmlshapeimage_11_link_0
Fumaria capreolata
Ramping fumitoryWhite/Pages/Fumaria_capreolata.htmlWhite/Pages/Fumaria_capreolata.htmlshapeimage_12_link_0
Matthiola incana
Hoary stockPurple_mauve/Pages/Matthiola_incana.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Matthiola_incana.htmlshapeimage_13_link_0

Know your onions!

28 January 2017

Wild alliums are the forerunners of  the important vegetables, onions, leeks and garlic which add sustenance and flavour to the worlds cuisine. They also occur as garden flowers which are often followed by attractive seed heads. Four species of wild allium are found on Skopelos, with three new  flowers added this month............... click on boxes below to go to page of the flower.

Allium roseum
Rosy garlicPink/Pages/Allium_roseum.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0
Allium trifoliatum
Rosy garlicPink/Pages/Allium_trifoliatum.htmlPink/Pages/Allium_trifoliatum.htmlshapeimage_15_link_0
Allium commutatum Wild leekPurple_mauve/Pages/Allium_commutatum.htmlshapeimage_16_link_0
Allium subhirsutum 
Wild garlicWhite/Pages/Allium_subhirsutum.html

3 January 2017

New page added for the New Year

The Mediterranean Biotope

The Mediterranean is highly specialised biome which occupies only 2.2 percent of the earth's surface, but  contains 20% of the worlds plant species.1 The complex interaction of environmental factors has created a unique but fragile ecosystem, characterised by a mosaic of interacting and interdependent plant communities, which host a large variety of vascular plants including many rare taxa (species and sub-species), some of which are threatened with extinction....more

About The Wild Flowers of Skopelos

" Plants are not only beautiful - they are thrilling as well...."

Helene Schmitz & Nils Uddenberg*

The creation of this website, The Wild Flowers of Skopelos, has brought together three interests: wild flowers, photography and Greece, in particular the Island of Skopelos, where we have had a house for over 10 years. It has also introduced me to a new interest, geology.

I have been curious about flowers since childhood but only got into earnest botanizing once I retired from my career as a Paediatrician. Unfortunately at times it has all become a bit of an obsession.

My aim is to create a Flora of Skopelos but I have a long way to go and realise I may never complete it. I intend to include all seed plants - conifers (gymnosperms) and flowering plants (angiosperms). I will not only add plants which are rare and beautiful but also the common and ordinary. However I will follow the example of George Sfikas in his book, Wild Flowers of Crete, and omit plants that are of no special decorative interest. The great Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus, had a much grander ambition - to provide a species description for every form of life on earth.This of course was impossible, perhaps mine is too. 

One problem is, I do not know exactly how many flowering plants there are on Skopelos.

I have tried to be as accurate as possible in identifying flowers but this proved more difficult than I expected and I apologize for any errors.

I am launching the site with just over 50 plants and now have almost 200 and will continue to add more and make changes.

The site is not intended to be a work of botanical reference but to interest people like me, who love flowers and love Skopelos. I don't want it to be too serious.

Now with over 180 flowers and trees!

Naming and Names

Prominence has been given in this site to the scientific name but common English names, where they exist have been included. Greek names have also been given. It is quite common for the same Greek name to be used for a number of different plants and  many of the flowers found in Skopelos don't exist in Britain, so they do not have an English name.

Latin Binomial

The convention of using two latinised  names to identify a specific plant or animal, the latin binomial, was introduced by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1745.  The first name denotes the genus, a group of plants which are closely related to each other and the second the species, that is a specific kind of plant. This was aimed at simplifying names and ensuring that each plant would have a unique name, which could be recognised throughout the world and distinguish the plant from all others, a Descriptio specifica.

It is interesting how many of the latinised names are based on Greek common names and many can be traced back to the names attributed to plants by the first century physician Dioscorides in his encyclopaedia De Materia Medica. When the botanist Sibthorpe visited Greece in the 18th century was surprised that monks were still using this to identify herbs and flowers.

The latin name in botanical reference books is followed by an abbreviation of the name of the botanist who first identified it. L for Linnaeus, Rech. for Karl Rechinger and Sibth.& Sm.for Sibthorpe and Smith. This convention has not been followed for the sake of simplicity.

It was intended to simplify things!

The introduction of latin binomials was meant to simplify things, so that one kind of flower would have one name understood all over the world. However, confusion continues, and many flowers have had more than one binomial attributed to them. This is not too surprising as some plants have an almost world wide distribution and there have been many botanists looking for fame, when they think they have found a new flower, they give it a new name.

A recent publication by experts on Aegean flora provides the most up-to-date list of all the Vascular Plants of Greece and will be used as the basis for naming the wildflowers of Skopelos.1

1. Vascular Plants of Greece. An annotated checklist. Compiled by: Panayotis Dimopoulos et al. Jointly published by Botanic garden and Museum Berlin-Dahlem and the Hellenic Botanical Society, Athens.



Julia for her encouragement,

Nicholas for his criticism,

Nicole for her interest


Peter for his patience.

  1. Dr Susan Warren.

  2. *A PASSION FOR PLANT SYSTEMS Linnaeus and the Dream of Order in Nature


Now more than 200 flowers and trees..