The Beautiful ‘Lalades,’ The Wild Tulips of Chios (Video)

The Greek island of Chios is known for its mastic trees which produce sap used in an array of traditional products from gum to liquor. However, there is another product that the island produces which many people are not aware of — tulips.

On the island, tulips are called “lalades” and are found in abundance all over the island in fields and throughout olive groves. They bloom in March and their blossoms only last 7-10 days.

The presence of tulips on Chios has helped the locals mark the beginning of Spring and many villagers rely on the cultivation of these beautiful flowers for a livelihood.

There are a total of 14 species of tulips on Greece — four of which are located specifically in the central and southeastern parts of the Chios. Let’s take a look at these four beautiful and even rare flowers.

Tulipa Praecox
This flower has the local name of “Turkish late” and is a vivid red. It grows quite high at around 70 centimeters and on Chios, you can find it blossoming in fields and olive groves.

Tulipa Agenensis
Located called “Frankish lale,” this flower can grow to heights of up to 50 centimeters. Its flowers are red and they have black dots and yellow stripes inside.

Tulipa Undulatifolia
This flower is considered a rare and endangered species. It only grows to around 30 centimeters high and has petals that are orange-red with wavy leaves. Usually this flower is cultivated in fields.

Tulipa Clusiana
The locals call rare and endangered species “Constantinople” or “Babylonian lale.” Its white blossoms are marked with deep scarlet stripes in the interior and it can grow up to around 60 centimeters. It originated from Persia.

Still want to see more beautiful tulips on Chios? Check out the video below for a tour around some of the most breathtaking fields of flowers on the island!