Corfu has a huge variety of plants and flowers. It is known as the green island, but “green” cannot possibly describe the multitude of greens one can see of Corfu all year round and especially in the spring. There is the dark green of the olive trees, the silver green of olive trees when stirred by the wind, the almost black green of the proud cypress trees that point to the sky, the fresh greens of the spring meadows, the light green of the budding trees, and uncountable other shades of green. And between all this green there are a thousand other colours of the flowers that change every week!
Living olive trees
The “basic” green of Corfu is that of the olive trees. There are over 3 million olive trees on Corfu, clustered together in cool olive groves. The big difference between the Corfiot olive trees and other olive trees is that olive trees on Corfu are not kept short by pruning, but are rather left to grow to their full, majestic height and width. This creates olive groves where even at noon it’s cool and shady, as the olive trees create a roof high over your head. Some of the olive trees are over 400 years old and were planted during the Ventian rule of Corfu. Those ancient trees with their twisted trunks look almost alive and remind me of Tolkien’s Ents!
To get an impression of the feeling you get in such an olive grove, just watch this short video (turn on the sound to hear the cicadas!):The ground of olive groves that are properly tended is kept clean of undergrowth. But there are many olive groves where you can find a wealth of flowers. Especially impressive are the wild cyclamens that flower in September-October and cover many olive groves with a carpet of pink.
Many many flowers!
Corfu’s green is dotted by vivid yellow, pink, red, blue and white flowers almost all year round. As early as February or even January, the mimosas, almond and cherry trees start blossoming and in October it’s the time of the pink cyclamens. In between, there are thousands of wild flowers growing literally everywhere! Just to give you an impression of the variety of flowers, over 40 different kinds of orchid have been identified on Corfu. Those wild flowers, in combination with the flowers kept by Corfiots in their gardens offer a colourful landscape around every corner!
Flowers range from tiny wild flowers to fiery yellow bushes, to banana flowers! If you want to see more photos of flowers visit our Corfu flower gallery, and if you want to know more about those flowers, you can find hundreds of them categorized on the excellent website The Flowers of Corfu.