Orchids of Kamenjak

Kamenjak with its specific climatic conditions is one of the richest sites of orchids in Istria. It boasts 30 different species of orchids, two of which are endemic: Serapias istriaca and Serapias x pulae. All the orchids in the republic of Croatia are protected by law and can be found all over Croatia. This sensual and charming flowers make Kamenjak look really sophisticated in the spring. Many will agree that orchids is rightly considered the queen of flowers. It occupies a special place among plant species, in horticulture and interior decorating as well in the meadows of Kamenjak. With the first signs of spring the first orchids can be seen, heralding a change of season and the beggining of the awakening of nature after months of dormancy.

Since orchids are heliophiles, plants that love the sun, they are first to appear in the spring but also first disappear when they start to be overshadowed by other vegetation. The orchids are develop from tubers that resemble humans testicles which they were named after (Gr. orchis=testicles).

Orchids of Kamenjak

People used to exploit orchid tubers to obtain an extremely nutritive sweet substance called salep. People used to drink salep instead of coffee and it was considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Orchids are specific for a series of adjustments with which they attract insects that help them breed in a relatively short amount of time they spend above the ground. Other orchids build shelters for insects with their petals, precisely where pistil and stamens are. Orchids also depend on underground fungi in the soil that allow them to grow.

Orchids of Kamenjak

Orchids of Kamenjak

Photo credits: Kamenjak

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Cape Kamenjak

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44.778998196166, 13.910823822021

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