Some Greek Treasures.

Galanthus reginae-olgae was discovered in the 1870s in the Taygotos moutains in the Mani peninsula in the Peloponnese.

Taygetos Mountains

Taygetos Mountains

This snowdrop was named for the Greek, Queen Olga, who was the Duke of Edinburgh’s Grandmother. It starts blooming in October and is still going strong. There were three blooms, but I accidentally pulled one off when I was raking up leaves. I used to have one very similar called Galanthus corcyrensis which comes from Corfu. It has since been established that it is the same and should be called Galanthus reginae-olgae too. Whatever its name, it is the earliest snowdrop of all and a welcome sight. It starts blooming well before my other early snowdrop, ‘Barnes’. From now on, there will be snowdrops to enjoy until April for the  nerdy anoraks amongst us, who delight in counting little green spots on tiny white flowers all winter long. I know for those of you who don’t share the addiction this seems a peculiar way to spend the winter. But then winter doesn’t offer us many floral delights.

Galanthus Reginae-olgae

Galanthus Reginae-olgae


I visited the wonderful, isolated Mani peninsula in May  a few years ago and the flora is amazing.

Apart from beautiful flowers there is a lovely Peloponnese tortoise, Testudo marginata.

Testudo marginata

Testudo marginata

And a Peloponnese Wall Lizard, Podarcis peloponnesiacus which I found appropriately enough on a wall.

Peloponnese Wall Lizard.

Peloponnese Wall Lizard.

Another treasure from this wonderful area is my lovely Cyclamen rhodium peloponnnesiacum. It has beautiful mottled leaves and lovely pink flowers. I was given it by a kind Greek lady, Electra, who I got talking to and found that she shared my passion for flowers and had a beautiful garden. It has to live in the greenhouse here but it doesn’t seem to mind.

Cyclamen rhodium pelonnesiacum

Cyclamen rhodium pelonnesiacum

Coming up in my next post my new project will be unveiled at last. I have been thinking about it and boring my friends and family about it long enough. At last it is finished.

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28 Responses to Some Greek Treasures.

  1. You are quite the explorer. This must have been an especially exciting adventure…the countryside if fabulous. And lucky you to have the cyclamen as a reminder of your trip and a gardener’s generosity. I would love to see Greece and Turkey, but I’m afraid I may have missed my chance.

    • Chloris says:

      I love the Peloponnese, the Mani peninsula feels so remote. The wild flowers are a dream.We went there because I have a book called ‘Wildflower Wonders of the World’ and it lists the 50 best sites for wild flowers in the world. I have just managed 2 of them so far. Transylvania and the Mani peninsula.

  2. Opa! lovely wildflowers I have not seen before, thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to the continuing tales of the Snowdrop.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Amy. I started off with my snowdrop and cyclamen and then because they are both from the Peloponnese I got a bit carried away remembering other wild flowers I have seen there.

  3. Anna says:

    As a fairly “nerdy anorak” Chloris I will be sharing the same intense delight as you counting all those spots, dots, stripes, swirls and other markings whether they be green or yellow. Here ‘Peter Gatehouse’, ‘Faringdon Double’ are in full flow plus one with a lost label 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      I think that like me, you are definitely a Snowdrop Anorak Anna. I am looking forward to seeing some of your snowdrops. They really help us through the winter, don’t they?

  4. bittster says:

    What a warm and sunny Greek holiday, wonderful to have those memories at this time of year when the days are so short and still getting shorter. the cyclamen is a treasure, I had one briefly last winter before killing it sometime this summer, I have yet to admit this to the person who so optimistically gave it to me…
    As a snowdrop anorak myself, I will gladly listen to just about everything you care to share on the subject!

    • Chloris says:

      Ah, you are a snowdrop anorak, you admit it at last! I thought you usually feign a total lack of interest and then give yourself away by writing a detailed account of your beauties.

  5. I can think of worse addictions than snowdrops. I’m increasingly curious to see the results of your mysterious project.

  6. What a fabulous trip that must have been! Very exciting to see the Snowdrop in its native range. And so nice to meet a friendly local gardener.

    • Chloris says:

      The Peloponnese is so beautiful and the wild flowers are wonderful. I didn’t actually see the snowdrop in bloom because it blooms in October. But I bought this one and I like to remember its homeland.

  7. Christina says:

    Plants that remind us of people and places are always treasures in the garden. I’m not a snowdrop nerd but am happy to read your, always fascinating, stories about them. Like Kris I am very much looking forward to the great unveil!!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Christina. You don’t need to be a snowdrop nerd because you have so much in your garden to delight you all winter. Here in England we need little treasures to linger over in the winter.

  8. Sam says:

    Oooh, exciting..!

  9. Annette says:

    Not many things are sweeter than those wild encounters, I always treasure them, thanks for sharing this trip.

    • Chloris says:

      To me part of the joy of travelling is to explore the flora of different parts of the world. it’s a total bore for my travelling companions though. I always get into trouble on a walk because I stop and examine every flower.

  10. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. xx

  11. snowbird says:

    Some stunning pics here, just loved the flora, tortoise, wall lizard and that beautiful little building. And of course your garden and greenhouse jewels. If I had things popping up in my garden I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. Ooooohh….I say! Can’t wait for the reveal!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      That tortoise was huge. He had a massive tick on his neck which you can just see on the photo. I’m sure you would have stopped and removed it. But I’m squeamish. The lizard was so sweet and you only find it in the Peloponnese. Not much in the garden now.

  12. Cathy says:

    Thanks for expanding our snowdrop knowledge with the origins of G Reginae olgae – and widening our horizons with botanical tales from Greece ☺

  13. Cathy says:

    ps I have no idea what that emoji is – it certainly wasn’t the one I clicked on!

  14. Lavinia Ross says:

    That looks like a wonderful trip. The flowers are beautiful and I love the little tortoise and wall lizard.

    Cyclamens are one of my favorite flowers.

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