Saturday 14 May 2016
Ray gave an entertaining and informative talk based on recent visits to this area. He and Joyce like to combine relaxation and absorbing local life with plant hunting, and his talk was interspersed with beautiful photos of the stunning scenery and landscape, sunsets over the lakes, local people going about their lives – as well as architecture and historic ruins.
They initially focussed on Lake Beyrshehir. Ray was interested in identifying which species of Sedum were growing locally and to compare his finds with known recordings of these plants. He uncovered some surprises. For a start, he found Sedum urvillei which was a surprise for Turkey.
We, his audience, were dumbfounded in some cases how he managed to spot the plants at all – some were smaller than a finger nail and just finishing after flowering! It takes a seasoned plant hunter to be able to hunt these down.
Ray didn’t find Sedum acre which is recorded for the area; does this mean it no longer grows there or is it just harder to find?
Ray explained that the area is also known as a legal grower of opiodes, producing 70% – all monitored by satellite.
Interspersed with the sedum, Ray showed rosularia sempervivum and a number of alpines – all of which had the audience stumped when it came to identifying them!
Ray and Joyce visited Sagalassos which is a famous big rose growing area – he said the scent was powerful and the entire local culture and industry was focussed on the rose.
One photo showed a steep rocky outcrop and Ray breezily informed us he climbed this just to take a look – which was worth it as he found a sedum!
In 2014 they investigated the Aegean, and it was here that he found petrosedum growing on granite, not on limestone as it should be. He also recorded Sedum rubens which is new for the area. He also discovered Sedum hispanicum var. planifolium – another new find for the area.
Travel advice was also offered: he suggested that the entry fee of approximately £100 for two people to Ephesus wasn’t good value – there’s plenty to see outside.
Ray once again managed to entertain us, give us a visual feast and inform us both on Turkey’s countryside and culture – and still provide tip-top plant information.
All photographs in this article are (c) Ray Stephenson.