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The flowers of the Greek islands

Rich in history, culture, good food and lots of beaches, the Greek islands are besieged every year by millions of tourists looking for sun, sea, good food and a holiday worthy of the name.
For us, which in addition to the long days of sea and sun, we also love exploring the territory in search of novelty, discovering a true open-air botanical garden was an immense joy.

Dozens of flowers and species that we had only talked about, told or maybe seen photos on books, finally appeared before our eyes with their incredible colors.But what are the flowers that can be admired by walking and exploring the hinterland of some Greek islands? Here are some...

The common caper (capparis spinosa) is a typical plant of the Mediterranean areas and for this it will be easy to find it also in Southern Italy as well as in the South of Spain and some areas of North Africa.
About 350 species belong to its genus.

Campsis radicans belonging to the bignoniaceae family is a characteristic spring flower with a typical trumpet shape.
Unlike the other "sighted" during our walks, this was located in the center a few steps from the sea, rather than in less inhabited hill areas.

Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis: this hibiscus, of Chinese origin, is well suited to growing both in the garden and at home. Traveling among the Greek islands you will discover different varieties of colors and species of the hibiscus that, we know, finds in this type of climate its ideal residence.

Russellia equisetiformis or the firecracker plant: when we talked about it in this article, we did not imagine it would happen in front of us after a few months. Instead here it is.

If you meet the crocodile thistle-bullet, pay attention to its thorns!
We came across this plant in a completely abandoned area, so it's easy to think that it can grow without human help.

 

Ipomea purpurea: not always visible even when you walk because it hides among the trees and its violet flowers can escape the sight of the passing bye.

Plumeria Rubra: in Rhodes, for example, this flower is present in large quantities. You will never go under a tree, look out on a balcony or see something that does not have this flower from afar. The plumeria is really everywhere and fills the trees with its color.

Lantana camara: colorful little flower, present mainly in Greek gardens. Easy to grow, it fills up every little space available throughout the summer.

The plumbago is another flower typical of southern areas of Europe. Thanks to its color is a very decorative plant and, if well pruned, able to become lush and productive over time.

Catharanthus Roseus: Madagascar periwinkle. In some areas this flower grows wild and even in the mid-1900s it was used as a remedy for diabetes!

Bungavillea spectabilis: it is a perennial creeper of Brazilian origin that, over time, has been modified by the man who has created many hybrids of as many colors and varieties. In the already colorful Greek islands (but we have seen many in Athens too), they are encountered in large quantities and with incredible colors ...

 

Update July 13, 2019

About a year after the publication of this article, we returned to Greece and, to our surprise, even with a "baggage" of 7 new flowers to be included in this article!
We did not think that these islands rich in sea, beautiful people and good food, had so much to offer even from the botanical point of view ..
A sign that Greece is not only good for men, but also for flowers and plants ...
and there will be a reason ...

Albizia Julibrissin or Acacia of Constantinople: although it has as origins countries like Iran, Azerbaijan, China and Korea, this plant adapts very well to regions with torrid climate.
It was introduced in Europe in 1749 by Filippo degli Albizzi.

Brugmansia suaveolens or angel trumpet: fortune wanted a tree of this wonderful flower to be right in the small garden in front of the Kos hotel where I stayed a few days.
Originally from Brazil, it was thought extinct.
Instead ... here it is! In all its beauty.

Caesalpina Giliesii or poinciana: originally from Uruguay and Argentina, this plant also tolerates drought very well.
In Greece it was on the roadside, in a flowerbed among the trees.
I don't know if it had spontaneously grown but seemed quite at ease.

Grevillea rosmarinifolia: native to Australia, this plant can give very long blooms and, obviously, it adapts well to warmer climates. It was one of the last flowers (from Kos) I came across during the trip.

Nerium oleander, Oleander: I know, there was no need to come to Greece to discover the oleander, but while we were there ...
Mediterranean flower like few others, with its colors and that perfume unique in the world.

Peruvian thevetia or yellow oleander from Peru: another plant of South American origin that adapts very well to Greek climates. Cultivated as an ornamental for its colorful flowers and its thick vegetation, we often met it along the sidewalks outside the built-up areas.

Yucca gloriosa: succulent plant, in Greece you will almost certainly find it near the beaches.
Be careful because its long green leaves are very sharp! You risk biting yourself ;-)

 

 

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