Gerald Ponting -
writer, publisher, photographer, lecturer,
based in central southern England
Spring Flowers of the
My visit there in early April 2005 was with a group of other photographers and botanists. One experienced traveller said that he had never seen Greek spring flowers more colourful. Many of the flowers are endemics – plants which grow nowhere else in the world. Wild orchids abound and I was able to photograph over 20 species. While this slide presentation concentrates on the flowers, I have also included slides of the Parthenon by night; of the Corinth Canal; spectacular coastal scenery including the amazing ‘Greek Gibraltar’ of Monemvassia; the Byzantine remains of Mystras near Sparta; little fishing ports; and the unusual tower houses, typical of the remote Mani peninsula.
The Mani peninsula is the southernmost part of the Greek mainland, a small part of the Peloponnese. In spring, there are spectacular displays of wild flowers on the mountainsides, in the olive groves and among the ancient ruins.
The photographs show the Early Spider Orchid, Ophrys sphegodes and the rare and very local tulip, Tulipa goulimyi. The larger picture is of a rocky roadside, dense with colourful wild flowers.
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Latest revision of this page March 2009
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