CHIOS-Wild Orchids &Tulips on the Island of Chios
Trip Start May 10, 2010
15Trip End May 15, 2010
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The Wild Orchids and Tulips of Chios
I am having this entry just to let friends and members who follow my trips know about the wild orchids of Chios. I am giving many photos and tips on how to get in touch with the right person who will take you there.
There are 102 species of wild orchids, most of which are extremely rare.
Growing in unlikely places between rocks, along the edges of the roads, fields and meadows, among bushes and in forest clearings, these orchids can very easily be overlooked mostly because of the ignorance of some people who probably have no idea of the significance of these exquisite flowers
"The Orchids of Chios" was Mr. Pantelis Saliaris latest book and it consists of exquisite pictures which might be lost if not protected.
Coastal cliffs near Vrondados and Emporios, (east coast) are the habitat of the local and beautiful Campanula hagielia flowering in April only found in the easter Aegean and western Anatolia. The lower hills in south central and south Chios of Pirgi, Olympi and Mesta are rich in maquis flora and are particularly good for some of the rarer orchids.
In central Chios and western coastal village of Lithi and the inland villages of Anavatos and Avgonima are particularly rich in Orchids and Iris where numerous species are common amongst the limestone rocks.
Equipment: If you are a passionate naturalist like Mr. George Missetzis is, give him a ring and arrange to have an excursion out with him. He told me that he prefers arranging small groups when he takes people see and take photos of the orchids and the flora of the island, because people who follow should be very careful not to step on the plants and destroy them.
How about the Wild Tulips that grow here as well…..
The Tulips in Chios are self grown and their other name is “Lalades”
During springtime, the spectacle of these tulips is wonderful seeing them in cultivated regions in olive and almond groves and in the meadows of the island, even in very dry places. Six out of eleven species of tulips that are self grown can be found here.
It is known that when Dutch sailors passed by Chios they took along tulip corms back to their country; cultivated them and made Holland famous as the country of tulips. Now however the Municipality of Kampochora in cooperation with the Department of Environment of the Aegean University and the Aegian Ministry are carrying out a programme which has as a goal, the reclamation of the tulip.
A greenhouse and a plantation have been made where the possibility of lengthening the blooming time of the flower which now blossoms in March and April is examined. This new kind of agricultural activity has been developed on the island where the name of Chios is also known for its wild tulips.