The Wild Flowers of Skopelos

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For those who love Skopelos and the wildflowers of Greece

 


Skopelos flowers of autumn

27th October 2017


 
     



At the end of a long hot summer, the Island of Skopelos seems to breathe a sigh of relief and soon after the first autumn rains, the autumn flowers begin to appear: delicate cyclamen, from palest pink to deep magenta; bright golden autumn daffodils (Sternbergia lutea) and white lady’s tresses (Spiranthes spiralis). More subtle than these are the pure and simple wood daisies, Bellis sylvestris, which appear not only in forest clearings as their name suggests but also among the spiny herbs of the phrygana, they are distinguished from the similar perennial daisies by their late flowering and long slender stems.


Cyclamen graecum.
Greek cyclamenPink/Pages/Cyclamen_graecum.html
 
Spiranthes spiralis
Ladies tresses.Orchids/Pages/Serapias_bergonii.htmlOrchids/Pages/Spiranthes_spiralis.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
 
Sternbergia lutea Autumn daffodilYellow_Orange/Pages/Sternbergia_lutea.html
 
Bellis sylvestris
Southern daisyWhite/Pages/Bellis_sylvestris.html



Beautiful Greek orchids


31st, August, 2017





Greek orchids are not only beautiful but are also an excellent demonstration of how man can interact in a positive way with his natural environment to conserve biodiversity.* Orchids need high light levels and thrive in well cared for fields and olive groves managed on traditional principles which have been passed on in Skopelos from generation to generation.

Greece is famous amongst botanists for its large variety of terrestrial orchids and about 30 different orchids have been recorded on Skopelos. Some species form large colonies and in early summer fields may be filled with pyramidal orchids, Anacamptis pyramidalis, or the bee orchids Ophrys umbilicata. Others are more elusive and a walk on the island away from the beaches in spring or early summer may be rewarded by the discovery of an isolated specimen or small group of more unusual specimens, such as the purple birds nest orchid, Limodorum abortivum, which may remain underground for many years.


Thirteen orchids have been photographed and these have been brought together to form a new album:


Wild Flowers of Skopelos - Orchids


keep a lookout, more are awaiting to be discovered.


* Simon Pierce & Juri Belotti. The Conservation of Terrestrial Orchids.Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche and Centro Flora Autoctona della Regione Lombardia.


Magnificent Greek thistles

21st, July, 2017






Anyone who has taken a walk through the Greek countryside will be aware of the prickly  nature of the vegetation: many plants have thorns, spines or prickles. The reason that these plants have spiny structures is simple: it is so that they don’t get eaten; this is particularly important in a hot dry environment, where even a slight nibble can result in water loss. Donkeys, as anyone who has read Winnie the Pooh will know*, can eat thistles and goats will too, although they generally prefer other plants, but few animals do so.

Thorns are derived from shoots, spines from leaves or bracts and prickles from the epidermis (skin) so they may occur anywhere on the plant.

Thistles are a group of plants which belong to the Asteraceae, daisy family of plants and all have prickles and spines. This is not a strictly a botanical classification, but roughly corresponds to the sub-family Cynareae, although not all members of this group are thistles and of course not all prickly plants are thistles.


Carduus euboicus
Evian thistlePurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_euboicus.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_euboicus.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
Carduus nutans 
Musk thistlePurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_nutans.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_nutans.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
Carduus pycnocephalus 
Italian thistlePurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_pycnocephalus.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_pycnocephalus.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Carduus_pycnocephalus.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0shapeimage_7_link_1
Centaurea calcitrapa
Purple star thistlePurple_mauve/Pages/Centaurea_calcitrapa.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Centaurea_calcitrapa.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0
Picnomon acarna
Soldier thistlePurple_mauve/Pages/Picnomon_acarna.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Picnomon_acarna.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0
Tyrimnus leucographus
Purple_mauve/Pages/Tyrimnus_leucographus.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Tyrimnus_leucographus.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Tyrimnus_leucographus.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0shapeimage_10_link_1


  1. *Thistles are the favourite food of  Eeyore, the gloomy but loveable old donkey, who lives in a thistly corner of hundred acre wood.


  2. “Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“if it is a good morning.” he said.

“Which I doubt.” said he.


Winnie the Pooh. A.A. Milne.



Springtime in Skopelos...

4th June 2017

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.htmlWhite/Pages/Bellis_perennis.htmlshapeimage_11_link_0shapeimage_11_link_1
   
Reseda lutea
Wild mignonetteWhite/Pages/Reseda_lutea.htmlWhite/Pages/Reseda_lutea.htmlshapeimage_12_link_0
   
Smyrnium perfoliatum
Yellow smyrniumYellow_Orange/Pages/Smyrnium_perfoliatum.htmlYellow_Orange/Pages/Smyrnium_perfoliatum.htmlshapeimage_13_link_0
   
Silene vulgaris
Bladder campionWhite/Pages/Silene_vulgaris.htmlWhite/Pages/Silene_vulgaris.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0



Echium italicum
Pale buglosBlue/Pages/Echium_italicum.htmlBlue/Pages/Echium_italicum.htmlshapeimage_15_link_0
   
Thymus longicaulis
Creeping thymePink/Pages/Thymus_longicaulis.htmlshapeimage_16_link_0
   
Papaver hybridum
Bristly poppyRed/Pages/Papaver_hybridum.htmlRed/Pages/Papaver_hybridum.htmlshapeimage_17_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_19_link_0
   
Cymbalaria longipes
Ivy-leaved toad flaxPurple_mauve/Pages/Cymbalaria_longipes.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Cymbalaria_longipes.htmlshapeimage_20_link_0
   
Parietaria judaica
Wall pelllitoryGreen_Brown/Pages/Parietaria_judaica.htmlGreen_Brown/Pages/Parietaria_judaica.htmlshapeimage_21_link_0
   
Fumaria capreolata
Ramping fumitoryWhite/Pages/Fumaria_capreolata.htmlWhite/Pages/Fumaria_capreolata.htmlshapeimage_22_link_0
   
Matthiola incana
Hoary stockPurple_mauve/Pages/Matthiola_incana.htmlPurple_mauve/Pages/Matthiola_incana.htmlshapeimage_23_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_24_link_0
Allium trifoliatum
Rosy garlicPink/Pages/Allium_trifoliatum.htmlPink/Pages/Allium_trifoliatum.htmlshapeimage_25_link_0
 
Allium commutatum Wild leekPurple_mauve/Pages/Allium_commutatum.htmlshapeimage_26_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




 

Now more than 200 flowers and trees