The Wild Flowers of Skopelos


For those who love Skopelos and the wildflowers of Greece


Now more than 300 flowers and trees

The Wildflowers of Skopelos is for those who love the island of Skopelos and the wildflowers of Greece.

There are now over 300 flowers and trees and also information on the island, its floral landscape, geology, climate, and ecological habitats.

Botanical explorations of the Northern Sporades

“In every culture and throughout time, flowers have been central to the human experience.”

Vanessa Diffenbaug.

1 Jul 2021

Rechinger commented on the beautiful Ptolostemon chamaepeuce opposite Skopelos harbour

With its high mountains and scattered islands, Greece has long been known as a country with a rich and varied flora which has attracted the attention of botanists since ancient times. With the recognition of island complexes as biodiversity hotspots and natural laboratories with valuable but fragile ecosystems, it is not surprising that these scattered islands have attracted the attention of a number of famous botanists who have visited the Northern Sporades, collecting specimens and adding to the understanding of the natural environment, plant evolution, the influence of man and environmental change.

In ancient times until the modern age, plants provided food, building materials, fibres for clothing and medicines. This made the collection and the accurate identification of plants was even more important than it is today, but the study of plants and application of modern methods to their assessment continues to be an important activity and will help to understand and preserve the natural environment.

One of the first accurate catalogue of plants and their medicinal uses was De materia medica was written by Dioscorides during the 1st century A.D. but is was the 18th and 19th Centuries which were considered the Golden Age of plant collecting in Greece. Those expedition leaders who visited the Sporades include, Joseph Pitton Tournefort, John Sibthorpe, Dumont D’Urville and later Heldreich, Halacsy and in the 20th Century, Rechinger, Dimitrios Phitos. These names will be recognised by professional and amateur botanists as many plants have been named after them or by them.

A new page has been created on Botanical Explorations of the Sporades.

......for more click Botanists


Named for the bees.

3 Apr 2021

In spring and early summer the olive groves and fields of Skopelos are often filled with white lacy flowers of  Apiaceae  family, commonly known as the carrot, parsley or celery family.

The flowers of the family are usually, though not always arranged in umbels, which as the alternative name of the family, Umbelliferae suggests the flowers resemble umbrellas with rays radiating from a central point at the top of the stem, though some have globular heads, like the Eryngium species, the intriguing sea holly ( Eringium maritimum) and the thistle like weed, field eryngium (Eringium campestre).

Many of the plants of this family contains useful culinary plants with aromatics: parsley, coriander & dill; vegetables: carrots, celery & parsnips. The tender leaves of Apiaceae are collected in springtime to add flavour to salads and horta, but care must be taken. Poisonous plants including hemlock (Conium maculatum) appear very similar to other members of the family; It can be identified by the characteristic reddish or purple splodges on their stems and it produces an unpleasant odour when the leaves are crushed. Drinking a potion of hemlock was the mode of demise chosen by Socrates when he was sentenced to death for denying the existence of the gods and corrupting the youth of Athens.

Of the more popular forms of wild herb collected on Skopelos are rock samphire or kritima (Crithmum maritimum),found on the rocky shoreline and steep sea cliffs and the fragrant, feathery leaves of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) ; Hartwort or kafkalida (Tordilium apulum);  all are Apiaceae.

The white Apiaceae are easily recognisable as members of the family but not easily distinguished from each other, especially in flower but can be differentiated by their fruits. Some of the fruits are spiny and stick easily to the coats of passing animals or onto clothing, giving them the common name of sock destroyers. Some of the plants retain their seeds until winter and the skeletons of the flowers can be seen outlined against the light.

Nine new flower pages have been added to the website,

all are white Apiaceae.

Ammi majus
Bishop’s flowerWhite/Pages/Ammi_majus.html
Daucus bicolor
Wild carrotWhite/Pages/Daucus_bicolor.html
Daucus carota Spp. maximus
Giant wild carrotWhite/Pages/Daucus_carota_Spp._maximus.html
Orlaya daucoides
Small bur parsleyfile://localhost/Users/susanwarren/Desktop/untitled%20folder/new_pages/Orlaya_daucoides.html
Pimpinella peregrina
Burnet saxifrageWhite/Pages/Pimpinella_peregrina.html
Scaligeria napiformis
Scandix australis
Venus’s combWhite/Pages/Scandix_australis.html
Scandix pecten-veneris
Shepherds needleWhite/Pages/Scandix_pecten-veneris.html
Torilis africana
Wild parsleyWhite/Pages/Torilis_africana.html

Click on image to open flower page.

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