Spring is in full swing right now in Armenia! From the rocky mountains of Syunik in the south to the dark, lush forests of Tavush in the north, the earth is teeming with life and color. Within its 12 regions, Armenia features a broad range of landscapes. There are steppes, meadows, forests, open woodlands, marshes, deserts, semi deserts, and wetlands jam-packed in this small country! This makes for an ecosystem especially rich in both flora and fauna — Armenia boasts about 3,800 plant species alone!

 

If you’ve ever hiked  here in the spring or summer, you’ve probably seen alpine meadows or rocky slopes dotted with blossoms of all hues. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? On our free app and website, you can find 50+ trails that will take you through the vibrant heart of the Armenian Highland and its breathtakingly diverse flora. Here at HIKEArmenia, we love our country’s wildflowers so much that we’ve put together this short guide to the main types you can expect to find sprinkled across the countryside.

 

In the fall, foliage changes color from the top down (North first, South last). Conversely, wildflowers bloom from the bottom up starting in the spring and into the summer months. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll see these blooms on your next hike, we’re sure you’ll be impressed with Armenia’s natural beauty. And if you are lucky enough to see any, we ask that you refrain from picking them. Many of these blossoms are endangered, and we’d like to ensure that they’ll be around for a long time to come.

 

Forget-Me-Nots

 

forget-me-not


Family:
Boraginaceae
Species: Myosotis
Color: blue, purple
Region: Syunik (Zangezur Mountains)
Blooming Period: May through June
Trails to See Them:  Magic Forest Loop, Bekh Village to Bekh Anapat, Tatev to Devil’s Bridge, Old Goris Trail

A symbol often used to commemorate and remember the Armenian Genocide of 1915, the forget-me-not can be found scattered across the forests and mountains — especially the Zangezur Mountains — of Syunik, Armenia’s southernmost province. Keep your eyes peeled for this lovely light blue flower in the months of May and June, when it is in full bloom.


Poppies

 

poppies


Family:
Papaveraceae
Species: Papaver
Color: red
Region: Ararat, Aragatsotn
Blooming Period: April through June
Trails to See Them: Angels’ Canyon Loop, Two Churches + Gorge


While countries around the world see the bloom of poppies from spring into early summer, not many can claim a species as their own. The Armenian poppy, or the papaver lateritium, is a species endemic to the Armenian Highlands. You can spot this bright red blossom all across the country, even inside Yerevan. 


Arrowheads

 

arrowheads


Family:
Alismataceae
Species: Sagittaria
Color: white and purple, white and yellow
Region: Lori, Ararat, Aragotsotn
Blooming Period: June
Trails to See Them: Sanahin to Haghpat Monasteries, Giqor Trail, Two Churches + Gorge


Known for their petal structure resembling an arrowhead, these flowers can be found growing in the northern Lori region of Armenia, as well as in Ararat and Aragatsotn. There are two species native to the country: sagittaria sagittifolia (white with a purple center) and sagittaria trifolia (white with a yellow center).


Tulips 

 

tulips


Family:
Liliaceae
Species: Tulipa
Color: fuschia, pink, yellow, red
Region: Syunik, Aragatsotn, Tavush
Blooming Period: March through May
Trails to See Them: Magic Forest Loop, Two Churches + Gorge, Hidden Waterfall Trail


Some of the first blooms of spring, these cheery and bright blossoms inspire joy in their beholders. You can find tulips across Armenia’s countryside, from Syunik in the south up to Tavush in the north. 


Orchids

 

orchis


Family:
Orchidaceae
Species: various
Color: pink, purple, white, yellow, green, etc.
Region: Tavush, Lori, Syunik
Blooming Period: June through August
Trails to See Them: Yew Grove, Kobayr to Odzun, Sanahin to Haghpat Monasteries, Old Goris Trail


A favorite among flower lovers everywhere, orchids are unique in that they exhibit a breadth of shape, size, and color. Armenia boasts a wide variety of these quirky blossoms — hike a trail in Tavush, Lori, or Syunik and see if you can spot some!


The Daisy Family: Knapweeds, Amberboas & Salsifies

 

Asteraceae


Family:
Asteraceae
Species: Centaurea, Amberboa, Tragopogon
Color: light pink, pink, purple, light blue, cream
Region: Vayots Dzor, Shirak, Ararat, Syunik
Blooming Period: April through July
Trails to See Them: Chukar Trail, Gndevank Trail, Angels’ Canyon Loop, Magic Forest Loop


Many people don’t know that there are lots of flowers that belong to the daisy, or asteraceae family. Many of these can be found here in Armenia! Whether it be the spiky purple petals of the amberboa or the violet-tipped knapweed, you’re bound to find a member of the family on your next hike through Vayots Dzor, especially. 


Irises

 

iris


Family:
Iridaceae
Species: Iris
Color: yellow, white, cream, blue, pale blue, pink, brown, white w/purple, white w/brown
Region: Tavush, Shirak, Lori, Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, Ararat, Aragatsotn
Blooming Period: April through June
Trails to See Them: Gosh Lake to Goshavank, Dsegh Loop Trail, Bezoar Goat Trail


The iris takes its name from the Greek word for “rainbow,” and we can see why! You can find several subspecies of this showy flower across Armenia, all with different colors. Head to the northern provinces of Tavush, Shirak, and Lori to enjoy blue blossoms from May to July. Explore the meadows around Lake Sevan in Gegharkunik and across Ararat and Aragatsotn and see colors ranging from pink to violet to brown to white. In Vayots Dzor and Syunik, search for yellow, white, or creamy blossoms covered in thin violet veins. While each type of iris has its own blooming period, you’ll see that there are an abundance of blooms from April to June.


Of course, this list we’ve put together is far from exhaustive. There are hundreds of different wildflower species native to Armenia. If you’re interested in learning more about the flora and fauna that can be found here, check out the Red Book of Armenia, containing information about the status, distribution, ecology, biology, current status and conservation of rare and endangered species in Armenia.
#flora and fauna