1 October 2008

Chapter 15: Some Icelandic Flora

Continued from Chapter 14

On our walks and hikes around Hesteyrarfjörður and its surrounding environs, I came across a lot of diverse plants and flowers. Although there aren't many tall trees in Iceland, there are a lot of low-lying shrubs and plants. I was impressed by their ability to survive in such harsh conditions, and figure that most of them must have a hibernation period (as either adult plants or as seeds) during the winter months, with a very quick growing and reproduction cycles during the warmer spring and summer

I tried to name the plants in my images by consulting a couple of specialist websites which list Icelandic flora, but came up short on about half of them. It's most likely that I took images of the plants at different stages in their cycles when compared to the images on the other websites, or that I was simply crap at identifying them - a bit of both, I think!

In the end I decided not to label any of them and just post the pics of the pretty flowers and plants for you to enjoy.

So go ahead - enjoy!

Click on images to enlarge

Icelandic_FloraThese ferns looked similar to ones found in New Zealand

Icelandic_FloraThis plant was like a vine with very woody trunks

Icelandic_FloraLittle scenes of rock and plants were everywhere

Icelandic_FloraYellow was a popular colour

Icelandic_FloraSome looked alien

Icelandic_FloraPale mauve was pretty - these were tiny flowers

Icelandic_FloraThis vivid green ground cover was beautiful

Icelandic_FloraBlue-black flowers were not common

Icelandic_FloraPlants clung to rock faces

Icelandic_FloraCracks in rocks provided popular places to grow

Icelandic_FloraNot magic - and I have no idea what the black berries are

Icelandic_FloraThis plant looked like a succulent of some kind

Icelandic_FloraSoft prickles

Icelandic_FloraThis flower popped out in the middle of another plant

Icelandic_FloraThis stuff was really soft and cushiony

Icelandic_FloraWhite cottony type flowers grew wherever there was water

Icelandic_FloraTiny streams had micro-ecosystems around them

Icelandic_FloraSome plants even grew underwater

Icelandic_FloraThese were hard and spiky

Icelandic_FloraIt was difficult to walk 10 paces without seeing another photo op

Icelandic_FloraBlueberries grew everywhere over the hills at lower altitudes

Icelandic_FloraThese were so tiny that we stepped on some before we saw them

Icelandic_FloraThe pathways were not exempt from flora

Icelandic_FloraBig flowers from small plants

Icelandic_FloraGreen ferns contrasted with the rock colours

Icelandic_FloraThese flowers were so delicate and the plant had red stems and leaves

Icelandic_FloraThe root systems were a work of arterial art


moryarti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moryarti said...

Amazing shots!

nzm said...

Thanks Mory!

raakel said...

Hello Icelandic photo-takers! I was browsing for some plant biologist eye-candy and really enjoyed your photos. The "alien" plant is a kind of sphagnum moss, while the white cottony flowers are cotton grass of some kind (Eriophorum sp. ). The weird black berries are Empetrum nigrum, crowberry, a very widespread species and the flowering vine with woody stems is actually a really, really, really small dwarf willow tree! If you are interested in identifying the rest I can reccomend Fjällflora, by Mossberg and Stenberg-- in Swedish, but a comprehensive and incredibly beautifully illustrated guide to the plants of Iceland, Svlabard, and Fennoscandia.


nzm said...

raakel: welcome to our blog and thank you so much for your plant identification and your book recommendation.

When I was trying to identify the plants back when I wrote this post, I could find some descriptions and names, but not all of them, so I gave up!

That book would have come in very handy!