The colours of
the mountains tell
their own story
”Although deep down you know how meaningless and misleading it is to ascribe nature a soul, you can’t help but see mountain flowers as symbols of joyous, irrepressable courage in the fight against a hostile outside world.” Sten Selander, botanist and poet
Many people have been fascinated by both the beauty and vitality of the unique plants that grow in the Swedish mountains. With an almost inexplicable strength, they manage to withstand both biting winds and freezing cold. At the same time, they display intense, vibrant colours that contrast with the environment in which they exist in both a natural and surprising way. In other words, they’re just like the panels in the Fjällflora range. Here’s a short insight into the plants that have inspired the names of the seven Fjällflora colours.
Gymnadenia Runei (Brudkulla)
This rarely seen Swedish orchid only grows is a few places in southern Lapland and nowhere else in the world. It was discovered in 1960 by botanist Olof Rune, who described Gymnadenia runei’s colour as being as ”red as when the sun shines through a bottle of good…” Exactly what was in that bottle has been somehow lost to history.
Lapland Lousewort (Lappspira)
Known as one of the most highly scented mountain flowers, with an almost rose-like smell. It is found on mountain moors in the northernmost birch belt and also above the tree boundary.
Garden Angelica (Fjällkvanne)
Also known under its scientific name of Angelica Archangelica. The name derives from the myth that the Archangel Gabriel was said to have used it as a medicinal plant. Light green in colour, Garden Angelica can grow to be upwards of two metres tall and has been used both for medical purposes and in the production of absinthe.
Arctic Bellflower (Fjällklocka)
A rarely seen herbaceous plant that grows in the chalky soils of the mountains. Its dazzling blue, bell-shaped flower makes it easy to spot amongst other species. Discovered by Carl von Linné in the mid-18th century, it grows in an area extending from Åsele Lappmark to Torne Lappmark.
Grey Reindeer Lichen (Grå Renlav)
As with all reindeer lichens, this grey variety grows like a bush and, as the name suggests, has a characteristically grey hue. In times of hardship, it has also been used as animal feed and as an emergency foodstuff for people when resources were scarce.
Horse-hair Lichen (Manlav)
This plant got its name due to its uncanny similarity to a horse’s mane. Because of the way it grows, the horse-hair lichen has become known for enveloping the spruce trees of Northern Sweden in ”curtains”. With its distinctive dark grey/black colour, it gives the forests in which it grows a unique character.
Arctic Marsh Sedge (Kolstarr)
This protected species of marsh sedge grows only in Torne Lappmark, on irrigated gravelly soils and rock ledges. It is a very rarely seen plant, discovered as recently as the 1930s. Its Swedish name derives from the coal-black colour that is characteristic of the plant’s spike and its fruit sacks as they ripen.