Greece is mostly a mountainous country, but it has very diverse natural vegetation. In fact, Greece is home to almost 6,000 species of plant life, which is more than nearly any other country in Europe. Among the natural vegetation is a large collection of wildflowers that grow on the sides and bases of the mountains. Some hills in Greece are so blanketed in flowers, that no other vegetation can be seen.
Most of Greece’s wildflowers are in the Peloponnese region and on the island of Crete. Over 100 species of orchids alone grow in these areas. Other flowers that can be commonly found in Greece include violets, primrose, narcissus, peonies, anemones and tulips. Most of these flowers usually bloom in March, and they stay in bloom until mid-summer.
Flowers are not the only vegetation in Greece. The country is also home to over 200 species of trees. Because of all the mountains, about 50 percent of the land is forest and woodland. Greek forests are mostly coniferous, with a lot of pine and aspen trees, but beech and chestnut trees can also be found in large numbers. The largest of Greek forests are in the northern areas of the country and in the mountains near Macedonia, Thrace and Epirus. Other trees in Greece include cypress, fir and white poplars.
One of the legendary trees in Greece is called the Judas tree. Judas trees are notable because they bloom in the spring before their leaves emerge. The blooms are pink, but legend has it that they were once white, but became tinged when Judas betrayed Jesus and hanged himself.
Perhaps the most important tree in Greece is the olive tree. While this tree is native to Greece, the trees are now planted in groves over land that was once covered with forests of other tree species. This has actually caused an ecological problem because olive trees do not support the soil as well as most other species, and the soil has eroded in these areas.
Posted 4417 day ago