Rare orchids from Chios

The orchids of Chios are today much in demand by amateur naturalists and nursery owners. The island is home to 76 of Europe’s 250 species of orchids. Their beauty and rarity have led specialized overseas travel agencies to hold excursions for nature-lovers to the island, at a cost of up to 10,000 euros per person, a price which include tours of Chios mountains to see the rare plants up close. Foreign and Greek botanists have drawn attention to the importance of Chios’s flora. Recently, a foreign amateur botanist asked a Chios nature expert to show him where rare orchids were growing. The Chiot obliged, but the next year realized that some of these had been uprooted. He concluded that the foreigner had secretly used a GPS system to pinpoint the orchids’ position so as to be able to come back to the precise spot and remove them.

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