Wildflowers of Turkey

Hillside by the Stream, Ugurtasi Istavri Village Turkey by steelskyblue

TheGardenLady received this question from Janan.

I am planning a spring trip to Turkey to see wildflowers – especially bulbs. Do you know of any good books or other resources that are in English?

How I envy your traveling to Turkey to see the flowers. Turkey is one of the most interesting countries to visit.  Though I never spent time visiting gardens in Turkey, I found the most amazing variety of wild flowers- especially on the Eastern part of the country and around the area called Cappadocia.  “Turkey is home to 9000 species  of flowers, out of which 3,000 are native to its varied geographical landscape.” (see here)

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Turkey’s Botanical Treasures

Flower bed at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul by John Picken

In spite of the number of lovely flowers that I have already growing in my garden, this GardenLady always dreams of more flowers. Which ones should I add to the garden when I divide and transplant or give away those that have overgrown their stay? As I have been going through some catalogs deciding on some more bulbs that I want to add to my garden, I realize that so many of my favorite flowers come from Turkey. For example, tulips are native to Turkey as are some of the fall blooming crocuses. See here. Now that Liquid Fence stops deer and rabbits from eating my tulips and crocuses, I am ordering more of both of these bulbs.

When this GardenLady traveled through Turkey in the early 1970s, especially driving through the eastern part of that beautiful country, I was amazed with the number of wild flowers I saw there. They were so many wildflowers, that I decided I would concentrate on seeing how many different flowers of one color that I could find each day I traveled. This was not a difficult undertaking, the wild flowers were so prolific. I had a cup holder in the car and I would fill a cup with a different color of flowers daily.

Though cutting the flowers does not hurt the plants, since this is what one does when one dead heads to encourage more blooms, if everyone did what I did, there would be few wildflowers for others to admire. Though I did this before this type of thing was prohibited, we know better these days and I would never recommend picking wildflowers. I recommend just looking and photographing the flowers. I wished I had a book with me for identifying flowers so I could know what the names of those flowers were. These days, I wonder if there are good books in English on the names of the Turkish flowers.

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