Cherries and Cherry Orchards in Agiasos

The rural area surrounding Agiasos is mostly covered with three different kinds of trees: chestnuts, olives and pines. Among olive groves, chestnut groves and pine forests there are small cherry orchards planted in the late years of the Turkish occupation replacing sycamores which were used in the production of silk. Despite their cost of gathering cherries were more profitable than silk at that time in the Market of Mitylene.


Cherry trees (Prunus avium L.) belong to the family of “rodides”. They’re tall trees (10-20m) with horizontal branches, elongated, pointy and dentate leaves and white blossoms arranged in umbels. The fruit is a round sweet red drupe (in varied sizes and colours) with a big seed. Cherries are extremely juicy, tasty and fragrant fruit. They are cultivated in semi mountainous, cool valleys.
Cherry trees were brought to Europe by Lucullus (117-56BC), who named them “kerasos” after their place of origin Kerasounda in the Black Sea. There is however another legend according to which Lysimachus one of Great Alexander’s successors brought cherry trees to Macedonia and introduced them as sweet juicy fruit which didn’t need to be dried or roasted in order to be edible. Therefore, ancient Greeks already knew cherries from the 3rd century BC, far before Lucullus brought them to Rome.


Notable researchers have found out that cherries contain innumerous anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant components which restrain muscle damage. They also contain blossom-cyanine which is very beneficial for the human organism. Cherry peduncles are particularly diuretic when infused. Cherries are very good for the human eyes because they contain Vitamin A. They can be used for the fighting of kidney colic, cough, diarrhea, and the existence of uric acid in blood. Finally, the rose wood of cherries with its fine grains is used in ebony making.