Allium callimischon – papery white tepals with a brown or red midvein on umbels of up to 25 shuttlecock shaped flowers, very variable in height, flower spike up to 30cm, leaves mostly not present at flowering time. Rocky places, rock ledges, cliffs, banks, open phrygana, olive groves, 400-1300m.
Anemone coronaria – flowers very variable in colour and size, 35-65mm with blue anthers, basal leave biternate with deeply lobed segments, stony meadows, scrub, waysides, field boundaries, olive groves, vineyards, terraces up to 2200m. Up to 30cm tall.
Arisarum vulgare – tuberous perennial up to 30cm. Leaves a fresh green, ovate to heart-shaped. Upright inflorescence short peduncle, chocolate-brown or green spathe, pale-green or whiteish stripes with a hooded apex, 40-50mm, protruding curved spadix. Rocky and stony habitats, phrygana, olive groves, borders of cultivation, abandoned terraces up to 800m.
Asphodeline microcarpus – skeletons peppering the hillside, perennial up to 1.2m tall, although varies in height considerably. Grey-green leaves, pink-tinged white star-shaped flowers produced on candelabra-like branches. Rocky slopes, fields, waysides, open phrygana, sandy places
Colchicum cupanii – flowers purplish to pale-pink sometimes with veining 15-25mm, anthers purplish-black, styles straight with point-like stigmas. Linear leaves produced in pairs. Rocky and stony habitats, open phrygana, around 650m.
Crocus boryi – pure white flowers, deep yellow throat, 20-50mm, stamens with yellow filaments and creamy-white anthers, style with many slender orange or reddish branches, leaves present at flowering time, grassy and rocky places, coniferous woodland, phrygana, sand dunes, field boundaries up to 1500m.
Crocus cartwrightianus – parent of saffron crocus. Lilac-purple tepals with dark-purple darker veining, throat white or lilac 15-32mm. yellow anthers and white or purplish filaments, style deeply divided into 3 long deep-red branches. Leaves grey-green partly developed at flowering time in groups of 5 – 11. Short turf, stony and rocky habitats to 1000m.
Crocus goulimyi – relatively small flowers borne on a long tube, 1-2 fragrant pale to deep lilac-purple flowers, white throat, tepals unequal, inner generally shorter than the outer, yellow anthers, styles shorter than the stamens divided into 3 short branches, leaves partially developed at flowering time S and E Peloponnese
Rocky places, olive groves, phrygana, ancient tracks often in terra rossa 300-750m
There is great variation in the form and colour of this species Limin Geraka.
Crocus goulimyi ‘Harlequin’ – selection named by MPG member John Fielding, distinctive colour variation between the outer and inner tepals.
Crocus niveus – white, pale to mid-lilac or bicoloured tepals, 30-60mm, throat deep yellow, 1 to 2 flowers borne above barely developed leaves. Anthers yellow or orange-yellow, style red with 3 main branches, dissected at the end into thread-like lobes. South Peloponnese, rocky and shrubby places, garrigue, field boundaries, olive groves up to 750m.
Cyclamen hederifolium, Cyclamen hederifolium subsp. crassifolium and Cyclamen graecum
We saw three types of cyclamen during our time there with a fair bit of confusion by all to as which species or subspecies was which. Cyclamen are tuberous perennials. Technically the misnamed corms are swollen hypocotyls. The leaves in all three of these species generally have basal heart- to kidney-shaped, lobed or unlobed leaves, most having beautiful patterns on the upperside, the underside ranging in colour from light glaucous green to cerise. Flowers are solitary and are sometimes borne before the leaves. The tepals of the variously coloured flowers (white through to dark magenta) are reflexed back, some twisted to reveal a small ‘nose’ that points downwards. In C. hederifolium the seed capsule pedicel coils from the top downwards to draw it close to the plant whereas C. graecum starts twisting from the centre of the peduncle.
Photo Cyclamen graecum clearly showing its centrally curled peduncle
The other main differences are the rhizome shape and texture with C. graecum being more corky and rough on top. C. hederifolium tends to be smoother and a more depressed, flattened shape. C. graecum root from the base and C. hederifolium from the shoulder and sides. The leaves differ in that C. hederifolium tend to be more lobed and C. graecum can be unlobed but finely toothed with a slightly beaded feel to the leaves. Clear beading on C. graecum leaves
On the whole the cyclamen flowers that we saw were C. hederifolium subsp. crassifolium flowering with or without leaves, C. graecum generally could be identified by the leaves having a richer almost more velvety look to the surface as opposed to the slightly more shiny C. hederifolium. C. hederifolium is found in different habitat from Cyclamen hederifolium subsp. crassifolium such as deciduous woodland edge.
Cyclamen hederifolium subsp. crassifolium – endemic to Peloponnese. Formally named in 2009 distinguished by appearance and chromosomes. 2-toned heart-shaped leaf surrounding a silver blotch, many specimens we saw were without leaves. Slightly sweet scent. Cool conditions such as north-facing slopes are needed for leaf production with flowers. Leaf variations within this genus are extremely varied in colour, pattern and size.
Galanthus reginae-olgae – flowering in autumn before leaves appear, leaves deep green or deep grey-green, with a prominent grey stripe down the centre, paler and more glaucous beneath, woodland and margins especially plane tree and coniferous, love of deep leaf litter 500-1300m.
Iris unguicularis – solitary primrose-scented flowers. Variable in colour (blue, purple or violet blue) and pattern on the falls, deeper veins and variable amounts of white, egg-yolk yellow in the centre of the haft, erect standards often with bronzy, violet-spotted haft. Dense tufts of evergreen deep-green or blue-green linear leaves up to 30cm. Seeds often distributed by ants. Dry sunny banks, open scrub, pine trees rocky places.
Narcissus serotinus – flowers before leaves, sweetly scented, white tepals and yellow flat cup-shaped corona. Generally low altitudes, abandoned terraces and olive groves. Around 25cm tall.
Narcissus tazetta – leaves present at flowering time, flowers produced in umbels, very fragrant, bright yellow deep cup corona. Rocky places, often near the sea, up to 45cm tall.
Prospero autumnalis – very variable in height 5 -20cm with a long flowering time. Up to 20 lilac to pinkish-blue flowers are produced in a lax raceme. Leaves absent or very short at time of flowering. Dry stony and grassy habitats, phrygana, olive groves, orchards, terraces.
Spiranthes spiralis – inflorescence very slender with up to 20 fragrant small (6mm) flowers beautifully spiralling up the stem, sepals hairy, stem glaucous, basal rosette of leaves. Grassy places, open scrub, phrygana, waysides up 20cm tall.
Sternbergia (eight species) – Crocus-like plants distinguished by their six stamens, rather than three of crocus.
Sternbergia lutea and Sternbergia sicula both bear bright yellow tepals and although they are similar, they can be identified from each other by the following characteristics:
- lutea has very erect leaves that may be absent or partially formed at time of flowering up to 20cm long; S. sicula has horizontal leaves and tends to be smaller with a glaucous central stripe on the upper surface.
The tepals of S. lutea tend to be obtuse to subobtuse and S. sicula acute to subacute tending to be smaller. S. lutea are found in fields, olive groves, near habitation, roadsides, banks, open woodland, garrigue, to 600m. S. sicula up to 1000m, phrygana, rocky places, banks, open woodland, ruins, abandoned terraces, field margins. September to November from coast up to higher slopes of hills
Urginea maritima (sea squill) – tall (1.5m) pure white flower spikes, cliffs and coastal hills. Skeletons left for us to see in the landscape and their gigantic bulbs from which arise large fleshy leaves.