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Photo Gallery | Flowers, Swedish Lapland

Andromeda polifolia

Bog rosemary



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Andromeda polifolia. Bog rosemary, Rosmarinheide, Rosling.
Both links below: Swedish Museum of Natural History

Distribution in Scandinavia.
Distribution in northern hemisphere.

A virgin in Greek mythology, daughter to Cassiopeia. The story seems to have inspired both astronomers and botanists alike. Linné has a very vivid description in Flora Lapponica (1737). "The most loveable and beautiful of maidens, with her slender neck (flower shaft), the color of her face (the flower) and rose red lips rivaling the beauty of what Venus could accomplish with her makeup. Slender, with chained feet, she is kneeling (the lower part of the stem is laying down), surrounded by water (in spring), imprisoned on the stone (turf), exposed to awful dragons (lizards); grieved she lowers her head (the flower) towards the soil, and reaches with her innocent hands (branches) up in the air until Perseus (midnight sun) conquer the beasts and saves from the water, no longer a virgin but a happy mother, who lifts her head (the seed) towards the sky." Something like that.

Polios: White, grey.

Folium: Leaf.

The leaves are pale underneath. It can also be attacked by a fungi who's spores make the leaves white underneath.

Bog rosemary may look like rosemary (the herb), but it is poisonous and can't be used as food. It prefer to grow in poor soils and wet conditions.

These photos were taken in:

Kvikkjokk - Njunjes (Tarra valley, Swedish Lapland)
Njunjes - Tarrekaise (Tarra valley, Swedish Lapland)
Tarraluoppal - Staloluokta (Padjelanta national park, Swedish Lapland)

Follow the link to see more flowers from the same area, and photos showing the nature and hiking trail.

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