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Hvar's Springtime Treats

Sunshine, mild weather and some occasional outbursts of rain are bringing Hvar's spring on at great speed.

Gomiljasta perunika Gomiljasta perunika Photo: Ivica Drinković

All around, at least wherever herbicides haven't put paid to the soil's fertility, wild flowers are making their welcome appearance. They add special pleasure to walking on the island at this time of year, and offer beautiful subjects for photographs. We are very grateful to Ivica Drinković for sharing these photographs from his dog-walks in Jelsa on March 5th and 7th, and to Frank Verhart, a keen observer of Croatia's plantlife, especially orchids, for identiying them for us. 

Iris tuberosa - Gomiljasta perunika. Photo: Ivica Drinković

Iris tuberosa belongs to the genus iris, and bears a variety of unlikely-sounding common names, some of them a little sinister for such an attractive flower: snake's-head (iris), widow iris, black iris, velvet flower-de-luce.

Gomiljasta perunika 07/03/2020. Photo: Ivica Drinković

It is native to the Mediterranean region, spreading from France to the Aegean Islands. In Croatia, where it is called Gomiljasta perunika, it is found along the coast from Zadar to the Montenegrin border. Technically it is now considered to be a member of the subgenus Hermodactyloides in the section Reticulatae.

Herbicides destroy the pleasure of Nature's gifts. Jelsa 14.02.2020. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Being both hardy and rewarding in terms of colour and detail, it is highly prized as a decorative garden plant, even as far away from its natural habitat as the United Kingdom, where it can be cultivated, given due care. Here on Hvar, they thrive just as Nature intends!

Wild Iris tuberosa flowers thriving. Photo: Ivica Drinković