Norwegian National Flower – did you know that there are two national flowers in Norway? Before we dive into those flowers, let’s have a look at the mysterious land of Norway.
Norway is a kingdom on its own. It is located in the northernmost part of Europe, but it’s not part of the European Union. The country is known for its extremely long coastline (more than 62.000 miles or 100.000 kilometers) and fjords. Fjords are small lakes with crystal clear water that feed from the water of mountains and melting glaciers. These small lakes are usually surrounded by tall mountains, offering unique views that will easily take your breath away.
Norway became independent from Sweden in 1814, and the founder of the first king of Norway is considered to be Harald Fairhair. The neighboring countries of the Kingdom of Norway are Sweden, Finland, and Russia. But what makes Norway stand out from the rest of the countries of the world is its national flower. Norway has two national flowers. To be more exact, their national flowers – are Bergfrue (botanical name Saxifraga cotyledon) and the Heather plant (botanical name Calluna Vulgaris).
Norwegian National Flower – Bergfrue
Bergfrue or Saxifraga cotyledon, shortly known as Saxifraga. It is an evergreen plant that most commonly grows in the mountainous regions of Europe like Scandinavia, Iceland, the Pyrenees, and the Western Alps. When a plant is considered to be evergreen, it means that there is no difference of what is the current season; the plant will maintain its green color nevertheless of temperature, amount of precipitation, or rainfall. Hints for the flower’s growing environment can also be found in its translation. In translation, “Saxifraga Cotyledon” means mistress of the mountains.
Bergfrue Flower Description
The size of the plant is usually up to 8 inches or 20 centimeters but can reach up to 24 inches or 60 centimeters at the peak of its season (from May to June). During those two months, the Norwegian national flower also starts to bloom. When blooming, this almost unnoticeable flower starts to grow white and pink blunt blossoms. It also begins to take a pyramidal shape and grow in height rather than in width.
It became the Norwegian national flower in 1935, but until today, the people of Norway have not fully accepted it as their national flower.
Why Norwegians Haven’t Accepted Bergfrue
The reason behind that is simple but rather interesting – it was entitled as the nation’s flower in Amsterdam’s international botanical congress, and the decision was made by horticulturists. Horticulturists are people who know everything about flowers, so one could think they made the best possible decision. Yes, their choice was amazing, but they did not discuss their options with Norwegians, and that’s where the hatchet is buried.
Norwegian National Flower – The Heather
The Heather or Rosslyn or just shortly called the Ling. This flower or plant is similar to Bergfure, an evergreen plant, so it does not lose its color or leaves during the winter months. It can be found almost everywhere – all over Europe, Iceland, Asia, the Faroe Islands, North America, the Azores, Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands.
The Heather Flower Description
The size of the Norwegian national flower typically ranges from 8 to 20 inches or 20 to 50 centimeters. The largest heather plants have been found to be up to a whopping 40 inches or 100 centimeters in size. Heather flowers have small leaves and range from 1/16 inches or 2 millimeters to 3/16 inches or 5 millimeters.
The flower blossoms from July to September. During that period, it has a color of pink or mauve, sometimes even white. If you live in a country with harsh winters, it is not a problem for the Ling plant. It is known to be very cold-hardy and can withstand temperatures lower than -4 Fahrenheit or -20 degrees. Just like a perfect winter temperature in Norway!
Rosslyn plants love to grow on open fields with loads of sunlight and acidic soils. Most of those soils are located near or at bogs. Bogs are areas with wet and muddy ground that is rather soft and typically cannot carry a weight of a human, meaning it’s almost like a swamp. Other ideal growing locations are oak and pine forests. So, if one would like to start growing a heather plant at home, they might find help by covering their flowerbeds with Pine Bark Mulch.
Why Norwegians Have Accepted the Heather
The Heather plant is a Norwegian national flower that the Norwegians truly love. The reason behind that is simple. As people were not satisfied with the selection made by the horticulturists, they wanted to choose their true national flower. In 1976 the biggest radio station in Norway there aired a show where locals could vote for their desired flower. The people of Norway chose the Heather plant. It is said that the decision was made while relying on one of the most loved outdoor activities in Norway – hiking in clean nature. The Heather plant can easily be seen in nature, nevertheless of your location or path.