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Author Topic: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece  (Read 4367 times)

Melvyn Jope

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My previous visits to northern Greece have always been in late April and whilst it is an excellent time to travel and see many Crocus, Orchis etc I have always felt disappointed to see that Galanthus plants are always in seed and thought that sometime I should return in March. The decision was made easier this year when I was invited to stay with Greek friends at their home near Gianitsa in the district of Pella.
My first opportunity to look at plants was by the river at Kali. This is a rather remote area and a place where the European wolf lives - sometimes heard but seldom seen. The altitude here is about 40m so I thought it unlikely that I would find Galanthus and the plants encountered were fairly predictable, Muscari sp. Ornithogalum sp. Ranunculus ficaria and several attractive forms of Anemone pavonina.

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 09:57:35 PM »
The main objective for my next trip was the road to 3-5 Pigadia. I had checked the location from previous visits so was confident of finding Galanthus if they were not still under snow. The road to Naoussa is beautiful at this time of the year as the peach trees are in full bloom. Once through the town and having found the road to the ski station the first plant encountered was Primula vulgaris and then Crocus chrysanthus.

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »
The Galanthus monograph by Aaron Davis has a photo (plate33) of what is described as Galanthus elwesii, the photo was taken on   25-03-91 so here I was twenty one years and one day later looking for the same plant. It was obvious that there was a lot of snow on the mountain but once we reached 860m there were the first Galanthus.
 On this site it can be seen that they are growing through bracken.They were growing in association with many other plants but especially Crocus chrysanthus.

Maggi Young

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 10:19:30 PM »
I'd always thought Aristotle was a croconut, Melvyn, but go on, convince me otherwise! ;)

Super photos - thanks for sharing.  8)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 10:20:57 PM »
Among other companion plants there were, Helleborus odorus, Primula vulgaris and Scilla bifolia.

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 10:30:44 PM »
You will note that that I have called the plant Galanthus graecus  -  I have heard or read of them being described as G.elwessi, G. gracilis or as a hybrid between the two. As this all sounds rather unsatisfactory I have followed the naming used by by fellow forumist Dimitri Zubov.
I wanted to take photos showing the considerable variation in leaf, flower markings etc and I hope you will see that the plant presents a nomenclature problem. Some applanate some convolute and considerable variation in the size and development of leaf at flowering time.
The following photos show some of the variation seen at the first site.

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 10:37:09 PM »
We continued our way further up the mountain but soon encountered a lot of snow which was covering the plants, the following photos were taken at the edge of snow. We then decided it was pointless continuing up the mountain so returned to look for other sites at a similar altitude.

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 10:43:35 PM »
We then moved to the other side of the mountain and after several miles found another Galanthus site which was more open and the plants were growing in turf under deciduous trees.
The following photos show some of the plants seen, this time at the higher altitude of 1150m.

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 10:48:13 PM »
Finally Galanthus photos for those of you that like a little variation in flowers etc

Melvyn Jope

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2012, 10:57:48 PM »
We had then intended to make a return visit to the superb museum at Vergina but found it was closed so went on to the school of Aristotle near Naoussa. The site was covered with typical spring flowers and then to my surprise, as it was only 40m above sea level, I found Galanthus graecus growing in the woods below the remains of the school. The plants all had seed pods which looked almost mature so had probably flowered in January/ early February.
Such a surprise to see them growing in an unlikely area now surrounded by heavily cultivated agricultural land.

Could it just be that Aristotle was a galanthophile and planted bulbs at his school?

Gerry Webster

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2012, 11:42:27 PM »
Aristotle was  a sensible & down-to-earth chap, more interested in animals than in plants. On the other hand, I suspect Plato might well have been a Galanthophile.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 11:51:11 PM by Gerry Webster »
Gerry passed away  at home  on 25th February 2021 - his posts are  left  in the  forum in memory of him.
His was a long life - lived well.

johnw

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 02:05:47 AM »
Melvyn -  What a charming species this is.  Some very wonderful chubby ones there too.  Superb photographs as well and I suppose you got a muddy chin in the process.

And what an exquisite basal mark on G.g 3.jpg! :o

johnw
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 01:46:17 PM by johnw »
John in coastal Nova Scotia

Gerard Oud

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 07:25:05 AM »
What a fantastic site Melvin! Walking through the mountains and discovering several new things is like a dream thanks for sharing!

They are all nice, especially the yellow graecus. But you can see the ones under the pinewood trees are suffering from the acid from the dead pinewoodleafs/needles.

ichristie

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2012, 07:56:17 AM »
Hello Melvin. superb snowdrops even better than the Cyclamen??  thanks for showing the pictures, cheers Ian the Christie kind.
Ian ...the Christie kind...
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ashley

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Re: Was Aristotle a galanthophile?.....Galanthus in Northern Greece
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2012, 08:11:22 AM »
Thank you Melvyn.  It's fascinating to see these lovely plants and where they grow.  
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 04:40:45 PM by ashley »
Ashley Allshire, Cork, Ireland

 


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