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Wild Poppies at the Acropolis in Athens

Bright splashes of red enlivens the ancient stone ruins of the Athenian Acropolis

Wild Poppies at the Acropolis
Wild Poppies at the Acropolis

Wild flowe​rs grow right through the old stones of the Acropolis, adding vivid tints of green and red to the plain pastel colours of the ancient ruins. This sight is truly pleasing, and there is no better time to stroll about than when poppies are present. The blooming season, however, is rather short and flowers are in their prime in late spring through early summer.

Practical info

When is the optimal time to go to the Acropolis to notice the wild poppies?

To witness the blooming of wild poppies at the Acropolis, it is best to take a trip there from late spring to early summer, especially during May and June. During this period, there will be a burst of red and green from the poppies and wildflowers that grow amidst the stone ruins of the ancient site. Show more

Where in the Acropolis can wild poppies be spotted?

Wild poppies can be found on and around the ancient stones in the Acropolis complex. They provide a stunning contrast of color with the ruins and can be observed best near the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the slopes around the Theater of Dionysus. However, one can easily find them in other parts of the site with some exploration. Show more

What is the natural process of the growth of flowers on ancient ruins?

The flowers at the Acropolis grow naturally through the dispersal of their seeds. The wind, birds, and other animals transport the seeds, and some of them end up among the stones. The microclimate created by the exposure of the ruins to wind and sun, along with the soil between the stones, facilitates the germination and growth of the seeds. Additionally, the plants here are allowed to grow without interference from herbicides and pesticides. Show more

What are some examples of the other flowers one can spot at the Acropolis?

The Acropolis has a rich variety of flora. Chamomile, daisies, thistles, and vetch are some of the other flowers one can see here. These flowers have different hues of white, pink, and purple, providing a nice complement to the poppies' red. Over 400 species of plants can be found on the Acropolis hill, many of which are native to the area and have medicinal properties. Show more

Is it acceptable to touch or pick the poppies when visiting the Acropolis?

It is not recommended to touch or pick any of the wildflowers, particularly poppies, when visiting the Acropolis or other ancient sites. The poppies are delicate flowers, and their petals can fall quickly. Moreover, the law protects many of the plants that grow on the Acropolis, making it illegal to collect or damage them. Visitors should admire the flowers from a safe distance, take pictures, and leave them undisturbed. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin