alpine bartsia

Spoke too soon….

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Common butterwort in flower
Common butterwort in flower

….when I said that the Common butterwort had finished flowering in Iceland in August and had set seed.

Pinguicula vulgaris
Pinguicula vulgaris

Today we went to the site of the Krafla fires eruption at around 650m above sea level and there were still a few early summer flowers to be found. Mountain avens (Dryas octopetala) is the national flower of Iceland and all the other locations we’ve visited have been covered with it’s beautiful fluffy seedheads.

Mountain avens
Mountain avens (with vapour from the hydrothermal power station)
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Mountain avens seedhead

I was also delighted to find the pretty purple bells of the Alpine bartsia (Bartsia alpina)  which had gone to seed in other localities we’d visited.

Alpine bartsia flower
Alpine bartsia flower
Alpine bartsia after seed set
Alpine bartsia after seed set

While butterworts rely on carnivory, alpine bartsia has different specialist lifestyle which can help it to succeed in difficult environments: