Trees, shrubs and flowers in Melanes
The flora of Melanes offers a diverse and rich composition of plants. Many of the trees growing in the village are useful trees like the olive (Olea europaea), the almond tree (Prunus dulcis), grapevines (Vitis vinifera), fig trees (Ficus carica) or carob (Ceratonia siliqua). They are all native to the Mediterranean and they are in cultivation for at least 4000 years.
Some of the plants growing in Melanes have been brought here from somewhere else, either because of their sweet fruit, or for other useful purposes. The prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-india), which offers tasty fruits, and the Agave (Agave americana), which was used for producing fibers for ropes, were both brought from southern North America to the Mediterranean.
In spring many colorful flowers can be spotted all around the village, like garland chrysanthemum (Glebionis coronaria), the pink rock-rose (Cistus creticus) and asphodel (Asphodelus ramosus). In autumn other beautiful flowers begin to bloom, for example autumn heather (Erica manipuliflora) or cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium).
Many plants, well known as ornamentals or as herbs, like French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) or rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), have their native habitat in the Phrygana landscape around Melanes.
One plant is so common on the island of Naxos, that it contains the island’s name in its botanical designation: Malcolmia maritima subsp. naxensis.
Text Τ. Jakobitsch (Botanist)