The Wild Flowers of Skopelos

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For those who love Skopelos and the wildflowers of Greece

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

There are now over 350 flowers and trees and also information on the island, its floral landscape, geology, climate, and ecological habitats.

 

White variants

Άσπρες παραγαλλές

White is not simply the absence of colour,

but the reflection of every colour of the rainbow.



There are many plants which normally have white flowers but we all think of poppies as red, mallow flowers as pink,  thyme (Thymbra capitata) as bright purple and pyramidal orchids in all shades from deepest magenta to palest pink, but occasionally amongst these plants a white individual will appear. Very occasionally very pale pink poppies emerge.



In contrast to the definition of white given above, white colour results from an absence of the pigment, which usually gives the flower its colour. As a result the petals do not only reflect a small portion of the visible spectrum, but every colour of the rainbow.

The white variants are a result of recessive inheritance; the coloured forms having dominant inheritance. White forms are usually rare but the frequency of the recessive gene increases in a population so the white variants become commoner.

A number of these variants have been found on Skopelos; they are given the epithet var. albiflora.* They are not albinos, although albino plants do occur in nature; in albinos the whole plants, including the leaves, are totally devoid of pigment; in albiflora variants only the flowers - petals or sepals are white and sometimes also the stamens and stigma. As you walk through the fields and forests of Skopelos, look out for these special plants.



A. pyramidalis var albiflora
Pyramidal orchidOrchids/Pages/Anacamptis_pyramidalis_var_albiflora.html
Malva sylvestris var albiflora
White common mallowWhite/Pages/Malva_sylvestris_var_albiflora.html
Papaver dubium ssp. lecoquii var albiflora
White poppyWhite/Pages/Papaver_dubium_ssp._lecoquii.html
Thymus capitata var.albiflora
White thymeWhite/Pages/Thymus_capitata_var_albiflora.html









A particularly beautiful albiflora variant was found by my fellow amateur botanist Kjell Thovsen - Serapias codigera var. albiflora. it is not pure white but palest yellow. For more of his flowers go to: Skopelos Flora






Photo by Kjell Thovsen.




*The term variant or variety is not universally accepted but it is used here as the website is arranged by colour. All the var. albiflora plants have been placed on the white page except the white Anacamptis pyramidalis, which is included with the orchids.



April

Ο Απρίλιος

12 April 2022






April, come she will,

When restless streams are filled with rain.

Song by Simon & Garfunkell.*


* First released in The Paul Simon Songbook. 1965










April in Skopelos is a wonderful month, the air is cool but on most days the sun is warm and bright, heralding the summer months. Occasional rainy days refresh the vigorously growing vegetation and fills the seasonal fresh water streams and springs.








Flowers of many colours too numerous to list, fill the fields, border the roadside verges and brighten the forest clearings. At an early phase of the season the fields and olive groves dominated by yellow are quickly joined by the brilliant red of poppies, pink mallows and magenta of wild gladioli, against a succulent background of fresh green. The colours if put together by humans would appear to clash, but nature blends them beautifully.







It is the time of flowering of magnificent irises, pure white, yellow or or deep purple, which many people have transplanted into their gardens. Flowers with more subtle colours combinations can also to be found at this time of year; the pink spires of pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis) contrasting with the purple tassel hyacinths (Muscari comosum).








A number of the bee orchids have their peak flowering time in April, with the intriguing little bumble bee orchid appearing in damp grassland and the delicate woodcock orchid (Ophry scolpax) along the edge of forest tracks.









Blue-mauve bell  flowers appear on bare rocks; these are Campanula scopelia, a special species, found only on Skopelos and Alonissos and nowhere else in the world. It is also the peak time for simple yellow and white daisy like flowers including the Greek endemic chamomile, Anthemis chia.






A walk in the countryside will not only treat you to the sight  of beautiful wildflowers but you will also be subjected to the aromas of many herbs, which are often in flower at this time of year; wild french lavender (Lavendula stoechas) with purple its tassels, the small wild thyme with clusters of tiny pink flowers (Thymus longicaulus) and the pinkish spikes of sage (Salvia fruiticaulis), which often surrounded by pink and white rock roses, are abundant along the roadside.



On a walk through the grassland many pleasant though often unidentifiable aromas may surround you, but you are sure to notice the characteristic perfume emitted by the soft young leaves of fennel.



Orthodox Easter is often in April, how appropriate at  the time when families and visitors to the island to celebrate Christ is risen, Christos anesti, they are surrounded by a  new awakening of nature, celebrated by wildflowers of many colours.





A few of the many flowers blooming in April.





Venus’s looking glass                                 Grass pink

 



Greek chamomile                   Cretan catchfly

  
 

Italian orchid                     Italian gladioli


 







 

Ο Απριλής φέρνει τη δροσιά φένει και τα λουλούδια.

April bring dew and brings flowers





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More than 350 flowers and trees