The freedom flower of the mountains

The reverse tulip, whose gene center is the Northern Kurdistan city of Êlih (Batman), blooms from May to June in the mountains of Kurdistan. However, photographers cannot reach these majestic plants due to access barriers.

The endangered reverse tulip (Fritillaria imperialis) has its home in the mountains of Kurdistan. From spring, they sprout and open their large bell-shaped flowers from May, which are crowned by a leafy head. However, due to the recent access restrictions imposed by the Turkish state, photographers do not get this impressive plant in front of their lens: the survival time of the reverse tulips is not enough to await the lifting of the access barriers.

The reverse tulips, also called "Guldexwîn" (blood-crying rose) or "Gula Xemgîn" (mourning rose) in Kurdish, are sometimes called "freedom flowers of the summits". The gene center of the flower extends from Êlih (Batman), Wan (Van), Bedlîs (Bitlis), Erzîrom (Erzurum) to the Qendîl Mountains (Qandil). But also in Iran, Afghanistan and Kashmir the reverse tulips are encountered, inhabiting stony slopes and shrubs at altitudes 1250 to 3000 meters. However, most of the 167 varieties are found in Kurdistan.

Researches have shown that 20 out of 43 genera of the reverse tulip in Kurdistan are endemic species that are only found in a small distribution area worldwide. From the leaves of this flower with a remarkable beauty are also obtained essential oils.