Fabulous Lake Van 2023

26th Jun 2023

There’s little better than an Oncocyclus Iris. These impressive and often improbable blooms inhabit the montane steppes of the Eastern half of Turkey, Iran and the Lesser Caucasus as well as down through Syria and Israel and into Jordan.

Here’s a selection of images from the Lake Van tour during the second half of May this year. Each population we encountered seemed better than the last, and better than the last time we visited too though that may not be the reality rather the effect these magnificent blooms have on the mind! Iris iberica elegantissima were so huge. We walked through a lady’s orchard to a hidden riverbank to be confronted by the incredible sight of hundreds of them lit up like chinese lanterns… Iris sari impressed us with every clump seeming to have a different set of colours and we found one clump where it had hybridised with Iris paradoxa. The very last day of the tour saw us marvelling at the clear lemon-coloured blooms of Iris urumiensis.

There are so many other flowers to be seen too – take a look at the Gallery.