Greece 06. - 18.04.2016

Rather comfortable we flight from Frankfurt late in the evening to Athens, slept in the Sofitel close to Airport, than next morning we received a Jeep Compass from Athens Car Rental at the hotel and could start by this management well refreshed to the south.

We had rather big difficulties to determin species. So a rather big couple of pictures are underlined only with Caryophyllaceae ? or similar. I would be very happy for any help, to find an exact determination as well for any finding of a wrong determination.

We first started a bit to the North, to Dilesi, hoping to find Hyacynthella yet in flower, but we found them only with fruits. From their back to Athens and than southward to Didima, hoping to find Tulipa boetica (undulatifolia) in flower - we found thousands of their leaves in corn fields - but not any singular flower. Often we saw a brownish "worm" between the upper leaves, the remainings of frozen oder bei cold rain otherwise damaged flowers.
Similar observations we made within the next days with other geophytes, especially with all early flowering orchids. The course of the weather, which was reported from some friends included a dry, very warm winter with very early onset of most of these plants, laterly damaged by a long cold and rainy period.
From Didima then we had to drive the long run yet to Poulithra, where we had booked an appartement in the Hotel Pantelis, where we stayed the complete time very comfortable.

06.04. - gallery of the day
Nothing special to report further.
map and locations of these few shots:

07.04. - gallery of the day
We drove over Leonidio to Voskina and back in the evening over Tsitali to Poulithra. The region north from Leonidio until Ag. Panteleimon is very untouched by human activities and surely their can be found as well many orchids a bit earlier and in a better year. It contains a grazed phrygana with little grassy places, mor far to the north there are only macadam roads, while more extensive meadows occur. We saw plenty of Orchis quadripunctata, as well O. pauciflora, O. simia and O. anthropophora, as well at some places the later flowering, dark Ophrys scolopax "mycenensis". The aspect of the meadows is very colorful, a search in a good year may be very interesting. The landscape remembers that around Peleta, but the region over all is hugh with little hills/mountains included. At the end of the day, high up on the rocks aloing the street to Tsitalia there was a nice bunch of Thallictrum orientale, impossible to photograph it with normal lenses. So these shots are done with the long rifles, side by side with the Olympus 4/300 with converter and with the 5.6/400 L Canon.
map and locations:

08.04. - gallery of the day
Driving to Kosmas (with a stop at Monastery Elonas), from there way over Chirovouni to Peleta and back to Poulithra. At the Monastery we could see different nice cushions at the rocks, but no one in flower. In Cosmas we took the way in direction to Peleta, which starts at the east end of the village down through a nice light wood of old chestnut trees, here Orchis mascula was in top flower. At Peleta we found a very attractive flower albino of Orchis quadripunctata, which still had the liliac spots, and at the end of the day we visited, close to Poulithra a small piece of coastal phrygana.
map and locations:

09.04. - gallery of the day
Again to Peleta but further on to Lambokambos from there to Mt. Koulochera above Metamorfosi, then to Monemvasia and back. On Lambokambos of course we hoped to see many orchids, but only a very few in flower. Nevertheless a new hybrid for us. Then weather became more and more worse, on the top of Mt. Koulochera we found the plants, but very strong wind made photography nearly impossible. So we drove southward, where the weather was much better, we found big populations of the local Limonium full in flower, but none of the desired O. fuciflora and as well the place of Linum hellenicum seemed to be very much changed by human activities, we did not found it. As well some nice places with thousands of orchids close to the coast close to Deimonia where nearly free of orchids in this year.
map and locations:

10.04. - gallery of the day
First to Peleta, using the new street over the mountains to Kremasti and then again to Mt. Koulochera, then Vlahioti and back. Driving this new street to Kremasti, we found a nice little way in a nice valley directly southward with many nice plants. Especially Alkanna sfikasiana here showed a remarkable color variation, white flowers, pink flowers. Then, on Mt. Koulochera we saw first Linum hellenicum plants, but unreachable on the high rocky board some meters above the way. So again the long rifles were used for some shots of this little scrub. The results are stunning. Then down to the warm loess hills of Vlahioti. Here Linum phytosianum was in high flower, and some other interesting plants. On the way back visit of a little place west of Kremasti, here a nice blue linum was in best flower.
map and locations:

11.04. - gallery of the day
We met some friends in Astros, then to the top of Mt. Parnon, on the way back we visited a place near Meligou and then back to Poulithra. With FWD cars it was no problem to drive to the top of Mt. Parnon. But here, where we hoped to come into early spring flora as well all Crocus plants outbloomed, I don't know, when they had flowered. As well not much to see due to thick clouds. More down some little plants, Ophrys hebes. Much mor interesting a place near Meligou, many, many O. lutea still in flower, but even most of them fruiting. A big surprise was a singular plant of Ophrys cretica there. Here at first we had the problem, which yellow Alkanna was flowering: Alkanna graeca or Alkanna methanaea. We are not sure further on...
map and locations:

12.04. - gallery of the day
Close to Leonidio there is a Nunnery Ag. Nikolaos, a really remarkable street lead to it. Here nice rock flora starting to flower. From there again to Voskina and the plains northward from there and at least to Lakkos beach. Very remakable north of Voskina we found some very extensive corn fields with a rich segetal flora, including some of the rarest plants belonging to this ecological assosciation, like for ex. Asperula arvensis and Bellevalia ciliata. At least on Lakkos beach nearly at evening twilight we photographed some birds.
map and locations:

13.04. - gallery of the day
Again meeting with a friend (Takis) in Astros, with him to Ag. Georgios an back to Astros, Moustos lake. As well again problems to differ between the Alkanna species, but the highlight today was a completely yellow flowering Ophrys lutea in some very nice biotops. A bit earlier in the year it would be wonderful to go there again. Close to Moustos lake we looked for Serapias parviflora, which we found there years ago, and it is still there.
map and locations:

14.04. - gallery of the day
From Leonidio leads a little street to Tsitalia, on the rocky boardes Centrantus ruber was in flower, with many butterlies on them. Then over Lammbokambos, where now Anancamptis papilionaceae was in flower, we drove to Harakas, here as well many nice plants, growing on rocks, first flowers of Scutellaria rupestris, and second finding of the nice Mikrocalyx longipes.
map and locations:

15.04. - gallery of the day
Again visiting the butterflies at the street to Tsitalia, then back to Voskina, and down to Tyros and back. Unbelievable again, using the long lens as a macro with stunning results. On Voskina again visiting the nice corn fields, but this time we drove down to the coast over Tyros. Here a new street was build within shady rocks with many nice plants on the rocks.
map and locations:

16.04. - gallery of the day
Over Peleta to Richea, then on the tops of the mountains close to Kouria. Crepis rubra now dominated the meadows around Peleta. Close to Richea we found Linum hellenicum again, but now as well reachable for close ups. Then long drive over the tops of many mountains east of Kouria, where many wind generators now are installed. We were lucky to find a further Cynoglossum species.
map and locations:

17.04. - gallery of the day
From Leonidio to Paleohora, then to Cosmas, a bit in the direction of Chirovouni, then back to Leonidio and Poulithra. Even on the rock wals on the street to Paleohora we found Minuartia pichleri and a bit furtheron Iberis acutiloba.Nymphalis xanthomelas of the last year were laying eggs, even nice Anthocharis gruneri. Ther further on to Cosmas, again down through the chestnuts to a place, which we wanted to investigate a bit closer. Here we found big a population of Symphytum tuberosum and to our great surprise a good population of very big ferns, we determined it as Matteuccia struthiopteris, or is it only a strange growing form of another fern ? . Between Cosmas and Elonas there were a couple of little extensive fields with an interesting segetal flora again, but mostly not yet in flower.
map and locations:

18.04. - gallery of the day
On the way back to Athens we stopped between Nemea and Korinthos at some places. Again problems with determining Alkanna species, but surely we found here the nice Alkanna orientalis and possibly a hybrid with another yellow Alkanna. At Athens we gave the car back ond flight back home.
map and locations: