WE LOVE FLORA

There are about 500 plant species in Greenland, but there is a big difference between the vegetation in the great polar deserts in the north and the lush and well protected valleys in the south. The Arctic summer is short but hectic, and it means that the country is flourishing in the period from the early July to mid-August. Greenland’s national flower is broad-leaved willowherb, which in Greenlandic is called “Niviarsiaq” which means “young girl”.

There are 22 species of plants and shrubs in Sisimiut and the surrounding area. In June the Lapland Rose-bay, which is a violet-colored flower, may be seen inside the city as well as in the countryside. Many of the local residents went out to the countryside to collect Alpine Juniper and Bog Labrador Tea, which is used for medicinal use and cooking. From May to August you can collect the traditional crowberries (mountain crowberry) and blueberries (Arctic Blueberry, Bog Bilberry). These berries are used for baking and cooking. Many of the locals freeze the berries, so they have them throughout the year.

There are 63 species of herbs in central Greenland, you will find some of them in the city and out in nature. The herbs grow in different places such as lush and humid heaths, on rock walls, mountain fields and grasslands. When you take a hike in Sisimiut, you will find the colorful Common Harebell, Broad-leafed Willow-herb, which is Greenland’s national flower, so you can pick some of the herbs and put them on the table as decoration for kaffemik. Dandelions, snow buttercups, common yarrow, saxifragas and arctic poppies are found all over the cities of Greenland.

Between May and June 25 different species of grasses and reeds bloom in Sisimiut and the surrounding area. When you go for a walk in the city, you can see almost all of the Arctic-cotton grass, because the plant grows on wet peat, sand, clay, bottoms of lakes, ponds and along streams.

Besides all of the plant species there are also mushrooms, ferns, algae, moss, and horsetails, which can be found everywhere in and around the city.