Extract

Flowers that Made Men Mad

The truly intoxicating rhododendrons of northeast Turkey. By Andrew Byfield

  • *R. luteum*, the basis for *deli bal* - mad honey.

The clouds lifted to reveal the basalt-black peaks of Şavval Tepe rising from a drape of lush green vegetation, crossed here and there by lingering slashes of snow in cool, vertical gullies.

Şavval Tepe, rising to 3377 metres close to Artvin, in furthest northeast Anatolia, is a botanist’s paradise, its slopes covered with a patchwork of forest and brush, grassland and rock, that provide a home to forty-six rare plant species. Şavval Tepe and its sister peak, Tiryal Dağı, are normally drenched in dense grey mist – these are among the wettest mountains in Turkey, with more than two metres of rain a year. Clamber up through open sycamore forest, dripping meadows of cranesbill and tangled thickets of rhododendron – this could easily be a hidden valley or secret moorland in the Himalayas. Turkey has five species of rhododendron and they all luxuriate in a water-saturated atmosphere.

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Issue 13, 1997 The Turkish Garden Issue
£50.00 / $69.72 / 286.05 TL
Other Highlights from Cornucopia 13
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Issue 13, 1997 The Turkish Garden Issue
£50.00 / $69.72 / 286.05 TL
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