Iceland: Fragile Moss Fields and Tiny Wildflowers

Moss Covered Lava Field

Moss Covered Lava Field

Moss Covered Lava Ridge

Moss Covered Lava Ridge

Alpine Mouse Ears in Moss

Alpine Mouse Ears in Moss

Sea Campion

Sea Campion

Purple Saxifrage

Purple Saxifrage

Purple Saxifrage Close-up

Moss Campion (cushion pink; lambagras)

Moss Campion (cushion pink; lambagras)

Angelica Flowers

Angelica Flowers

Fragrant Lupines

Sea Pink (Thrift)

Close-up of Sea Pink

Meadow Buttercups

Sea Mayweed (Icelandic Chamomile)

Wood Crane’s Bill

In Iceland there are vast areas of pillow-like moss covering the black lava landscape.  This unique moss is rare outside Iceland and extremely fragile.  It grows less than an inch per year, so you must never step on it.  Walking on it would be hazardous anyway, because the moss covers up lava with unseen crevices and jagged edges. 

Wildflower peak is in June and July.  Many of the flowers are tiny and grow close to the ground in response to the arctic climate.  Fields of lupines in early summer are spectacular! 

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