Plants of the Norwegian forests and mountains

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The Norwegian forest and mountain areas display a rich variety of plants in the spring and summer season. Trine and Jon decided to share pictures taken on their numerous hikes with the users of the Web, together with short descriptions of the species.

Our apologies to those of you who can only access the Web using equipment / programs with no (or poor) graphics. You must use your imagination, or go someplace else for something less visual. Apologies also for not knowing / taking the trouble to find out the English names in some cases where such names may exist.

Tysbast is an attractive and fairly rare shrub that blooms with bright, violet flowers on bare branches soon after the snow is gone in the early spring. It is fount in forest land with chalky soil, and is known to be quite poisonous. This picture was taken in Ringerike northwest of Oslo late April 1994.

This plant is often found in forest and pasture land, and is quite characteristic with its large, bell-shaped flowers, color ranging from deep to light blue or even white in rare cases. Its Norwegian name is "fagerklokke", which means "beautiful bell". Picture from the North Forest, near Tømte, early July 1994.

Mjødurt is another forest plant, blooming typically late in July. It can become quite tall, up to ~1.5m. It's flowers are yellowish white, many small ones clustered together in what may look like small balls of cotton from a distance. It is characterized by its strong, sweet, fragrant, spicy scent, resembling that of the old Norwegian drink "mjød", a sort of ale, which dates back to the Viking era. The plant is believed to have been an ingredient in "mjød" in the early days. Picture from Kamphaug in the North Forest.

Prestekrage (daisies) are common in lowland pastures. Ildsveve (orange hawkweed) is not quite as common in Norway, but bright and colorful when found. This picture is from our own "wild" garden.

The flowers of the mountains can be divided into two main categories.
1 ) Those that are unique to the mountains, and
2 ) Those that are found in forest land as well.
The above picture from a mountain meadow at about 1500m above sea level, illustrates the latter category, with an attractive display of mainly violet skogstorkenebb, yellow sveve and rosenrot. The colors of such flowers in places like this are often more intense than further down. The picture was taken near Leirvassbu in Jotunheimen late July 1994.

Marisko is a spectacular and quite rare orchid, found in the warmer lowland forests, and only where the soil contains a substantial amount of calcium (CaCO3). Picture from Ringerike northwest of Oslo June 1998.

Last update 10-12-1998 by Jon Wikne,