A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts April 2016

Nature's Velcro

This is the seed of a medick plant (possibly Medicago littoralis) designed to stick to anything furry, including socks and thus disperse itself.


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A tongue orchid found on Symi. Serapias Bergonii.

Above: A violet bird's nest orchid, not yet in flower but stands 12" or more along with many others in a wooded clearing in Rhodes. Limordia abortivum. Below: Orchis italica.

A white pyramidal orchid below on Rhodes.

And a strange as yet unidentified (possible, Robert's gian…

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More Orchids

The "Hill Orchid" from Rhodes. Orchis collina.

Two orchids from Symi; Orchis anatolica and the holy orchid, Orchis sancta. The holy orchid was seen in great numbers as the crusaders approached Jerusalem in medieval times.


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The "Milky Orchid" or orchis lactea. All below found on Rhodes a few weeks ago.

The "Heroic Orchid" or Orchis papilionacea ssp heroica.

The "Beetle orchid", Ophrys blitopertha.


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Dragon Arum

Here's the dragon arum in flower yesterday. Not everybody's favourite due to its smell of rotting flesh but stunning in appearance none-the-less. Dracunculus vulgaris.

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Monastery of Sotiris Mikros

Tucked away in the hills is the monastery of Sotiris Mikros, and takes about an hour to walk there from the road. The enclosed fields are still grazed by a shepherd and it looks as if nothing has changed in a thousand years.


There are many patches of wild irises here, the only place I know on Symi where they grow.





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Alice in Wonderland

“When we were little," the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, "we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle - we used to call him Tortoise -"
"Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?" Alice asked.
"We called him Tortoise because he taught us," said the Mock Turtle angrily…

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Giant Peacock Moth

A giant peacock moth, Saturnia pyri, which Justine assures me was at least 6 inches from wingtip to wingtip when she photographed it coming back from dancing one night.

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No apologies for posting this female kestrel again. She had two suitors today.

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Little Owl

This is our local little owl. He or she lives in a nearby church. I think he spotted me first.

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Flying Penguins

A new species of penguin has been discovered. Click here.

Wild Clary

Wild Clary. (Salvia verbenaca)

Culpepper says, 'The distilled water strengthening the eyesight, especially of old people, cleaneth the eyes of redness, waterishness and heat: it is a gallant remedy for dimness of sight, to take one of the seeds of it and put it into the eyes, and there let it remain till it drops out of itself, the pain will be …

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12 blog posts