The flora of Folgefonna National Park

You will be surprised how much the vegetation of Folgefonna varies from place to place. This is due to the many microclimates – temperatures, precipitation and exposure vary greatly even over short distances.

The mountainous parts of the peninsula, most of whose bedrock is acidic, is dominated by a few hardy species: dwarf willow, common heather, three-leaved rush and mountain birch. Near the edge of the glacier, arctic cotton-grass, moss bell heather and rufine sedge are well suited to tackling the extreme temperatures and heavy snowfalls.

Colouring a mountain

Snøull
Cotton-grass - ©
Greplyng
Greplyng - ©

The highest peaks may seem barren of life, but look more closely and you will see splotches of lichen. One of the most eye-catching is a yellow-green map lichen that can colour a whole mountain! Don’t be surprised if you see moss campion, alpine bartsia, pyramidal and starry saxifrage clutching the steep rock faces above the screes and boulder-fields.

Botanical oases

If you want to visit a botanical oasis, head for Skjeggesnuten or Sauanuten, where a rich alpine flora thrives because of the calcareous bedrock.

Many streams carry water down from the snowmelts and the glacier. A large number of ferns grow near the spray zones of waterfalls and on the weather side of the peninsula.

Moist and lush

Down by the fjord and in the moist western woodlands, the vegetation is quite lush. Typical coastal plants include foxglove, bog asphodel, cross-leaved heather, hard-fern, lemon-scented fern and great wood-rush. In this temperate climate, however, their habitat extends all the way up towards the treeline.