Wild Flowers

Zagori is a biodiversity hotspot.
Zagori is estimated to host more
than 2000 species of plants,
including many rare species,
as well as endemics.

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In the area around Mt. Tymphe alone, French biologist Pierre Authier, attaché at the Paris Natural History Museum, identified a number of 1750 plant species, including 50 orchids.

The Vikogiatri
or Zagori herb doctors

Thanks to the high numbers of medicinal plants in Zagori and particularly in the slopes of Vikos Canyon, a legendary cast of local herb therapists was formed centuries ago, the famous Vikos’ doctors or Vikogiatri (Βικογιατροί). There are still names of places inside the gorge, where some of these old doctors were foraging their wild herbs, like the Rahi tou Zonia (Zonia’ slope). He actually was one of the most famous ones, using even mold to cure maladies, long before the invention of penicillin. Some Vikogiatri were personal doctors and consultants of the sultan himself, and several times they took profit of this position and worked for the benefit of their homeland, safeguarding its special self-administrated status. We know very little for Vikogiatri, mostly because they were acting in secrecy, as members of their guild. But several manuscripts of their wisdom and knowledge are pieces of various private collections, despites the lack of a serious study of their legacy. Here’s an example, in the website of the Μορφωτικό Ίδρυμα Εθνικής Τραπέζης – National Bank of Greece Foundation for Education, in Greek language.