Peloponnese October 2013
Autumn bulbs in the Peloponnese
The Peloponnese peninsula is reached by crossing the Corinth canal - a remarkable feat of construction for the 1880s.
In late October bulbs are starting to flower. Our first find was Crocus boryi.
Cyclamen hederifolium occurs in vast numbers, growing in shady places …
… and Cyclamen graecum, which grows in hot, dry, limestone rocks was almost equally abundant.
Sternbergia lutea was widely distributed, but never in quite such large numbers as the Cyclamen.
A particularly impressive clump of Sternbergia.
Sternbergia were usually on open, sunny slopes, often over limestone rocks.
Monemvasia is a peninsula with an ancient fortified town.
The narrow streets are free of cars, and there are many delightful restaurants.
There are a few hotels, and it was easy to get accommodation at this season. This is the view from our room.
A few small cruise 'ships' visit during the day.
There is one way up from the town to the top of the rock.
A view down to the town.
The top is packed with ancient, ruined buildings …
… and with interesting plants, including many bulbs. This is Urginea maritima, the sea squill.
More Cyclamen graecum, distinguished by the pink streaks at the nose of the flower.
Colchicum cupanii, one of many small Colchicum species found in the area.
From Monemvasia the Malea peninsula can be explored in a day. There is a fossilised forest at the southern tip.
Water spouts up through the hollow centres of the tree trunks.
This unidentified Colchicum was growing in the road to the tip of the peninsula.
A top view of the Colchicum.
The next day we went down the middle Peloponnese peninsula, the Mani. Scilla autumnale was abundant.
More Cyclamen graecum …
… in large numbers and widespread.
Here is a form of Cyclamen graecum with flowers that are almost white.
Occasionally we found plants with the leaves fully developed at flowering time, but this was unusual.
Much of the Mani peninsula is quite barren, with fortified villages.
Villages are often on hill tops. Many buildings are derelict, but others are being rebuilt.
Cats were common everywhere, but in this village they put their lives at stake by lying in the road.
Urginea maritima near Cape Tenaro.
Beautiful Campanula speciosa on limestone cliffs.
Next day on the north-west coast of the peninsula we found Crocus goulimyi for the first time.
Then there was a find stand of Crocus niveus.
Most were pure white, but some had various shades of pale purple colouring.
More Crocus goulimyi, this time in a deeper purple colour.
Towards the end of the day we found our best stand of Narcissus serotinus.
Next day we climbed Profitas Ilias, the highest mountain of the Taygetos range, 2407 m.
Above the treeline there were many alpine plants, but few in flower, so it looked deceptively barren.
From the summit most of the Peloponnese was visible.
One of the plants in flower was this Eryngium, probably E. amethystinum.
Coming down through the forest we found masses of Cyclamen hederifolium …
… growing with large numbers of the autumn-flowering snowdrop, Galanthus reginae-olgae.
Moving to the north of the Peloponnese there were more crocuses, here Crocus hadriaticus.
There were many more Sternbergia. This one may be S. sicula, but this and S. lutea seemed to merge.
A Sternbergia growing with a slightly mauve-coloured Crocus hadriaticus.
A narrow-leaved Sternbergia in which the leaves were well developed at flowering time.
For the last two days we crossed to Attica, and went to Delphi and then Mount Parnassos.
Delphi is fascinating, although thronged with tourists - and it has some good flowers, too.
More Sternbergia, which even the tourists stopped to photograph.
Colchicum cupanii again.
This Colchicum was on Mount Parnassos, and it may be an unnamed species.
Crocus cancellatus on the outskirts of Delphi.
The very local endemic, Crocus hadriaticus var. parnassicus, which is pure white.
Another Mount Parnassos endemic, Verbascum epixanthum subsp. parnassicum.
And we end with the gorgeous Daphne jasminea, found in this very fine form near Delphi.