Friday, 24 August 2012

Mountain Flowers of the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands Post issue the stamp set feature the indigenous Faroese plant, and call it as mountain flower on April 26, 2011. The issue comprised of two postage stamps depicted species; Red campion (Silene dioica) and Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum ).They are considered to be an indigenous Faroese plant, i.e. it was brought to the islands by the wind, ocean currents or birds and not by human activity.

2263aRed campion, Silene dioica

Red campion or Silene dioica is a member of the carnation family, of the genus Silene. The Faroese name bjargablóma (mountain flower) is given to the flower because it is a mountain-dwelling wildflower that grows in attractive dense cushions with pink and occasionally white flowers.

Red campion grows in steep rocky slopes and in inaccessible lower-mountain areas. Red campion is a rare plant. It is not found on any of the smaller islands or on Sandoy or Eysturoy. Red campion is a dioecious species, with separate male and female plants.
Red campion is an herbaceous perennial and can grow to just over a metre in height. It flowers in July. The fruit is an ovoid capsule that opens up at the apex with ten teeth, which curve back.

Wood Cranesbill, Geranium sylvaticum

Wood Cranesbill, or Geranium sylvaticum. is the only species of Cransebill found on the Faroe Islands. Its  grows on the Faroe Islands.  It is not found on the smallest islands and is rarely found on  Sandoy but is common on Streymoy and Eysturoy. It grows on low-lying land and is never found growing on heights greater than 300 metres.

It is a perennial plant that flowers in June and July. It can grow up to 50 cm in height and has a vertical stalk with long hairs at the top and short hairs at the bottom. The leaves are very large and divided into fine leaflets.

The flowers are typically blue and sometimes red. Fully-grown, the flowers are 10–18 mm in diameter and grow in pairs. In general, the plant is dioecious. It has five blue or red petals, and the centre of the flower is light, almost white. The flower and seed pod is divided into five single fruits. (Source: Faroe island Post bulletin, Anna Maria Fosaa)

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