Immense wealth

Greece has 6000 plants, 750 of which are found nowhere else, according to Swedish botanical scientist Arne Strid, who has been studying Greek nature for 48 years. He has also discovered 20 new species of plants in the mountainous regions of the country.

He participates in the 10-tomme encyclopaedia “Flora Hellenica’, where all Greek plants are included, and he has taken part in the listing of the flora of the Prespes National Park.

It was 1964 when he first came to Greece, in the context of his doctoral dissertation, regarding the plants of the Aegean and for which he was awarded with the American prize Jesse M. Greenman. In 1966 he spent his honeymoon in our country and since then he has visited Greece 70 times.

Greek nature has inspired his writing since among the 12 books he has published, the following are found:

-‘Mountain Flora of Greece’
-‘Wild flowers of Mount Olympus’
-‘Atlas of the Aegean Flora’; a book that will be in the bookshops in 2013, enriched with distribution maps for the approximately 4000 species of plants that are found in the islands of the Aegean. It will contain information from the database the professor has created during the past 25 years.

Muscari commutatum, a plant Mr Strid has found in Achladea, Peloponnese. (Photo by Martin Philippo).

Some interesting facts about the flora of Greece according to the Swedish botanist:

– The first botanist was Theophrastos, who lived in 371-287 BC in Eresos, Lesbos, an area unique for biogeography studies, evolution and differentiation of species.

– The 10% of the 1800 species found in Crete and Karpathos are endemic; something that makes the regions unique.

– When in Greece there are 6000 plants listed, in Germany there are only 3000.
– Mount Athos, that has an especially rare and rich nature, is one of the favourite destinations of Mr. Strid.

-His favourite flower is the amaranth Helichrysum sibthorpii,

which appears exclusively on the top of Mount Athos.

-One of the plants ‘discovered’ by Mr. Strid in the Greek nature is the Arenaria in Lefkada,

known with the scientific name Arenaria Leucadia Phitos & Strid 1994 of the family of Caryophyllaceae. (Photo by Αιθεροβάμωνα).

-In a recent lecture in Chios, Mr. Strid, underlined that ‘the Aegean is the cradle of scientific botany’.


Anre Strid was born in 1943 in Kristianstad of Sweden. He studied botany, chemistry and genetics in Lund University and graduated in 1970. His doctorate was on an experimental study for the differentiation and evolution of a group of plants in the Aegean and received the highest grade, while he also won the American prize Jesse M. Greenman for the best dissertation of scientific classification of plants that year.

He has been a professor of Botany in the University of Copenhagen and visiting professor of the University of Patras. Also, a professor of phytogeography in the University of Gothenburg and Director of the Botanic Gardens and the Museum of Natural History of the same city. Since 2011 he is an honorary professor in the Botanic Gardens and Museum of Berlin.

He has traveled extensively for scientific studies, mainly in Greece, where he first came in 1964, and in other Balkan countries.

He has written 12 books and published more than 140 scientific studies (approximately 6000 pages) in the fields of scientific classification, biosystems, phytogeography and evolution, emphasizing mainly on the flora of Greece. He has also created a personal botanic collection in the basement of his house.

An excerpt of the edition:



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