Fleurs Champ Massifdesmaures Var Yl MagadureFleurs Champ Massifdesmaures Var Yl Magadure
©Fleurs Champ Massifdesmaures Var Yl Magadure|Y.Le Magadure

6 spring flowers to look out for on your strolls in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

When we think of Provencal flora, lavender and mimosa come straight to mind of course. But plenty of other flower varieties have chosen to thrive in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and you’ll come across them often during your walks and hikes. Here are a few that are easy to spot!

Luberon Poppy

One of the most beautiful and fragile wild flowers of them all, poppies light up the landscapes of Provence with their dazzling hues every spring. You’ll find plenty of them in the Luberon, growing among the vines and cereal fields as soon as the warm weather returns. If you enjoy contemplating the poppy’s ephemeral beauty and fancy capturing the moment with some great pics, you’ll love the country walks on offer around Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Heading towards Velleron or Lagnes, you’ll come across several poppy-filled meadows. And if you frame your pics well, you should be able to get Mont Ventoux in the background! If you’re more of a big picture type, take to the heights in the villages of Gordes or Bonnieux to gaze out over the breathtaking scenery of the Luberon – you’ll be able to see the poppies favourite growing spots decorating the horizon with their pretty shades of red.

Wild Marigold

This soothing flower definitely hasn’t earned its French name of “worry of the fields”! The marigold is one of the rare flowers whose Latin name – calendula – is as well known as its common name. Its anti-inflammatory and healing properties have been renowned for centuries and continue to prove themselves. Wild marigold is smaller than the marigold commonly grown in our gardens, but its bright yellow hue, lighting up the fields and lining pathways, is still eminently visible. You’ll come across it everywhere here from the end of winter right through to autumn – for example if you’re strolling along the banks of the river Durance. The many walks and hikes on offer around Manosque and Forcalquier are a great opportunity to pick a few marigold flowers to make a herbal tea, balm, or simply a pretty bouquet. A quick tip while you’re out walking: if you get stung by a wasp or nettles, rub the sting with the flowers and leaves of wild marigold to ease the pain!

Garrigue Iris

Also referred to as the Dwarf Iris, the Garrigue Iris is a typical Provencal and Mediterranean flower. Easy to spot with its big yellow or purple flowers, it is quite short in height but very elegant nonetheless. And despite its refined air, it is very resistant to the harsh environment of the garrigue. It thrives on rocky, sun-drenched soils, to which it adds a splash of colour and delicacy. It blooms from March to May and its flowers can sometimes be blue or even white. If you want to get a closer look at this wild iris variety, head to the Calanques coastal fjords lining the shores of Marseille and Cassis, venture into the Provencal garrigue scented with thyme or rosemary, or roam the arid slopes of Sainte-Victoire mountain.

Alpine Pansy

Native to the Western Alps, the Alpine Pansy wears its name well. When spring comes around, it swathes the meadows in a magnificent show of colour. Its flowers are usually deep purple, almost blue, but can also be yellow or white. You’ll sometimes come across two-toned blooms too, forming magnificent graduated shades. Perhaps the pansy reminds you of the violet? That’s no surprise because they actually both belong to the violaceae family. To tell the difference, take a close look at their petals: the Alpine Pansy has four petals pointing upwards and one pointing downwards, whereas violets have two petals pointing upwards and three pointing downwards. If you’d like to get up-close-and-personal with the Alpine Pansy, head to the Hautes-Alpes area – you’ll find plenty of beautiful viola calcarata along the trails of Queyras and Guillestre while you’re exploring on foot, by bike or even on horseback. And if you’re an adventurous type, you’ll love bivouacking along the Balconies of Buëch. Pick your tent spot well and you’ll be able to admire them first thing in the morning. Be careful not to tread of them of course!


The one thing that really differentiates the violet from the pansy is its remarkable scent! The genuine star of the Alpes-Maritimes area, the sweet-scented Victoria Violet has been grown in Tourrettes-sur-Loup since the 19th century, and is widely used in both perfumery and confectionery. Every year, this little town celebrates the “Fête de la Violette” (Violet Fair) in its honour. Of course, you’ll find violets growing wild here too. And this rather timid celebrity prefers refreshing shade to the limelight! It loves high altitudes and can resist very cold temperatures too. During your alpine walks, you’re likely to come across several varieties including the wild violet, hidden away in the shade of the forest canopy, as well as the rock violet which, as its name suggests, prefers rocky soil or dry lawns. Not forgetting the violette argenteria, native to the Mercantour area! It owes its pretty name to Mont Argentera, the highest point of the Mercantour-Argentera massif, spanning the Alpes-Maritimes area and Piedmont in northwestern Italy.

Provence Bindweed

Less mountainous than the violet, the Provence Bindweed prefers the gentle climate of the Mediterranean coast. It adores the sun-kissed soil of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and is not afraid of the sometimes-arid environment of the coast. Easy to recognize thanks to its candy pink, trumpet-shaped flowers, it closely resembles the marshmallow flower. Provence Bindweed generally blooms in April and adorns the vegetation of Provence until the end of summer, so you should easily come across it during your strolls in spring, summer and even at the start of autumn. If you want to be sure though, we recommend roaming the gorgeous coastal footpath between Six-Fours-les-Plages and Hyères, or hiking in the Estérel or Maures hills. Enjoy your walk!

To discover