ENTRIES START
Below you can find links to the various (natural & artificial) groups of Icelandic plant species. From there you can identify single species and find the information on that species.

  Club mosses and ferns: Horsetails and True Ferns


Clubmosses and ferns consist of 3 basic groups:
1)   clubmosses: these are plants with small leaves, having only one vein. The leaves are more or less pressed onto the stem.
2)   horsetails: these are plants with leafless stems. Some only have one main stem where others have side branches, but never leaves. Spore forming organs are conically placed on the top of the stems. This group is regarded as a fern-ally
3)  true ferns (leafy plants, leaves (fronds) are usually divided in leaflets. Stems very short usually not visible. The spore forming organs (sporangia) are often on the bottom side of the leaves. Some ferns though have the sporangia in other places.


Below are the links to information on specific clubmoss species

Alpine Clubmosses
Lycopodium alpinum
Interrupted Clubmoss
Lycopodium annotinum
Fir Clubmoss
Huperzia selago
Lesser Clubmoss
Selaginella selaginoides

Next the links to information on specific horsetail species. Note that some species sometimes lack side branches but not always. The division below is merely a quick introduction. On the pages of the individual species this is clarified.

(1) Horsetail species usually with branched stems. These branches are placed in whorls around the main stem

Field Horsetail
Equisetum arvense
Shady Horsetail
Equisetum pratense
Marsh Horsetail
Equisetum palustre
Wood Horsetail
Equisetum sylvaticum

(2) Horsetail species usually lacking side branches from the main stem

Marsh Horsetail
Equisetum palustre
Water Horsetail
Equisetum fluviatile
Variegated Horsetail
Equisetum variegatum
Rough Horsetail
Equisetum hyemale
Mackay's Horsetail
Equisetum x mackaii

Note that E. palustre (marsh horsetail) is in both series; that is because at first it may seem to be without lateral branches but later on during the season it clearly does have lateral branches.


And now the links to information on specific true fern species. Note that the first series contains a natural group, the second and third does not reflect natural groups.
1): Ophioglossids: members of the Ophioglossacea (Adder's-tongue family). Members of this family have one leaf that is divided into a vegetative green part (blade) and a generative part that holds the sporangia. Note that this section is far from complete.

Common Moonwort
Botrichium lunaria
Mingan Moonwort
Botrichium minganense
Lance-leaved Moonwort
Botrichium lanceolatum
Description of other
moonworts on Iceland
Description of the
Small Adder's-tongue

2): Single leaves not disected in leaflets or compound leaves having only first order leaflets (meaning the leaves are disected only once in a row - these first order leaflets are not disected any further - pinnate leaves)

Hard fern
Blechnum spicant +
Blechnum fallax
Holly Fern
Polystichum lonchitis
Oblong Woodsia Fern
Woodsia ilvensis
Common Polypody
Polypodium vulgare

3): leaves disected at least twice in a row (bipinnate leaves)

Northern Buckler-fern
Dryopteris expansa
Male-fern
Dryopteris filix-mas
Lady Fern
Athyrium filix-femina
Alpine Lady Fern
Athyrium distentifolia
Beech Fern
Phegopteris connectilis
Brittle Bladder-fern
Cystopteris fragilis
Oak Fern
Gymnocarpium dryopteris


  Woody Species: Gymnospermae


Note: only the Juniper is indigenous to Iceland. The other 3 species are introduced trees. Apart from these 3 species many other pine-related species have been introduced for forestation projects.

Juniper
Juniperus communis
Lodgepole Pine
Pinus contorta
Sitka Spruce
Picea sitchensis
Siberian Larch
Larix siberica


  Woody species: Birches, Willows & miscellaneaous (Angiosperm) trees.


Woody species excluding willows:

Downy Birch
Betula pubescens
Dwarf Birch
Betula nana
Downy-Dwarf hybrid Birch
Betula pubescens x nana
Green Alder
Alnus alnobetula
Rowan tree
Sorbus aucuparia
Aspen
Populus tremula
Black Cottonwood
Populus trichocarpa

Willow species:

Dwarf Willow
Salix herbacea
Wooly Willow
Salix lanata
Arctic Willow
Salix arctica
Tea-leaved Willow
Salix phylicifolia
Feltleaf Willow
Salix alaxensis


  Heather family: heathers, related berry species and wintergreen species


Heath species (1): Crowberry (Empetrum), Common heather (Calluna) and other heather species species:

Crowberry
Empetrum nigrum
Common Heather
Calluna vulgaris
Blue Heath
Phyllodoce coerulea
Trailing azalea
Loiseleuria procumbens
Mossy Mountain-heather
Harrimanella hypnoides
= Cassiope hypnoides

Heather species (2): Arctostaphylos (bearberry) and Vaccinium species:

Bearberry
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Northern/Bog Bilberry
Vaccinium uliginosum
Bilberry
Vaccinium myrtillus
Small Cranberry
Vaccinium microcarpum

Wintergreen species: (Note: the Pyrola and Orthillia species {wintergreen's} have been regarded as members of their own family - Pyrolaceae. Recent genetic studies lead specialists to conclude that they have to be included in the Ericaceae = heather family).

Common Wintergreen
Pyrola minor
Arctic Wintergreen
Pyrola grandiflora
Serrated Wintergreen
Orthilia secunda



  Herbs, flowers have free petals (1): Dock, Goosefoot, Purslane, Sundew and Nettle family species


The choripetalae are large group of herbs. In this section three related families are treated: the dock/sorrel, the goosefoot and the purslane family.

Dock / Sorrel family:(Polygonaceae): Rather small reddish or white flowers clustered in dense inflorescenses.

Mountain sorrel
Oxyria digyna
Common sorrel
Rumex acetosa
Sheep's Sorrel
Rumex acetosella
Northern Sorrel
Rumex longifolius
Knotgrass
Polygonum aviculare
Iceland-purslane
Koenigia islandica
Alpine bistort
Bistorta vivipara
Rhubarb
Rheum sp.

Goosefoot, Purslane, Sundew and Nettle families:

Babingtons's Orache
Atriplex glabriuscula
Blinks
Montia fontana
Round-leaved Sundew
Drosera rotundifolia
Common Nettle
Urtica dioica

  Goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae): On Iceland there is just one common species. It is a coastal plant often growing on sandy beach soils over flood deposits. Small inconspicuous green or reddish flowers grouped together.
  Purslane family (Portulacaceae): Also one common species on Iceland: Montia fontana (Blinks). Note there is also a plant called Iceland-purslane. Contrary to what the name suggests, this is not a member of the purslane family but it belongs to the dock family (see above).
 Nettle family (Urticaceae): The nettle family is represented by two introduced weedy species. They are regarded as "aliens".



  Herbs, flowers with free petals (2): Saxifrage & Stonecrop family


Saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae): Starry flowers usually (creamy-)white but two species are yellow and one purple. The calyx is often fused at the bottom. For identification the family is split in three series: being the non-white flowering members of the Saxifraga genus plus the white flowering "Grass of Parnassus" (Parnassia palustris). The latter is member of the Saxifraga family but not a true Saxifraga, The second and third list present the white flowering Saxifraga's. It is easy to change the lists within any page though.

Grass of Parnassus
Parnassia palustris
Marsh Saxifrage
Saxifraga hirculus
Yellow Saxifrage
Saxifraga aizoides
Purple Saxifrage
Saxifraga oppositifolia
Pyramidal Saxifrage
Saxifraga cotyledon
Tufted Saxifrage
Saxifraga caespitosa
Irish Saxifrage
Saxifraga rosacea
Starry Saxifrage
Saxifraga stellaris
Mossy Saxifrage
Saxifraga hypnoides
Alpine Snow Saxifrage
Saxifraga nivalis
Slender Snow Saxifrage
Saxifraga tenuis
Drooping Saxifrage
Saxifraga cernua
Alpine Brook Saxifrage
Saxifraga rivularis

Now we explore the Stonecrop family (Crassulaceae) in this section. On Iceland only a few stonecrop species are common in the wild. Typically the members of this family have fleshy leaves. It includes three stonecrops (Sedum) species and the rose root (Rhodiola rosea)
These are:

Roseroot
Rhodiola rosea
Biting Stonecropt
Sedum acre
Annual Stonecrop
Sedum annuum
Hairy Stonecrop
Sedum-villosum


  Herbs, flowers with free petals (3): Rose, Buttercup & Poppy family


Now let's go to the Rose family (Rosaceae).
It is very difficult - if not impossible - to name a single feature for identifying a plant as a member of the rose family. Common species on Iceland are lady's-mantle's, Cinquefoils and Mountain&Water Avens. In order to keep some order I heve split them in three groups being:
1) the Alchemilla species (Lady's mantles)
2) the Potentils and relatives (Comarum and Sibaldia)
3) the remaining species
Whithin a specific species data page one can switch these lists

Common Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla vulgaris
Clustered Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla glomerulans
Hairy Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla filicaulis
Rock Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla wichurae
Faeroeic Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla faeroensis
Alpine Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla alpina
Silver Weed
Potentilla anserina
Sea-sideSilverweed
Potentilla egedii
Alpine Cinquefoil
Potentilla crantzii
Marsh Cinquefoil
Comarum palustre
Creeping Sibbaldia
Sibbaldia procumbens
Mountain Avens
Dryas octopetala
Water Avens
Geum rivale
Stone Bramble
Rubus saxatilis
Wild Strawberry
Fragaria vesca
Meadowsweet
Filipendula ulmaria

The next family listed below is the Buttercup and Poppy family. Most of them have yellow flowers, some though have white flowers. Some are (semi-)aquatic plants. Buttercups on Iceland are usually yellow-flowered or white (be aware of cinquefoils of the Rose family with superficially similar flowers). A common but rather strange little plant is the alpine meadow-rue which has one row of small purple flower leaves. The link start with the alpine meadow-rue from where one can easily find and identify other buttercups. The poppy family is also included here.
In order to keep it apprehensible I have split this group into three different lists, being:
1) The Yellow-flowered Buttercup family species
2) The White-flowering Buttercup family species
3) Poppies

1) Yellow-flowered species of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)

Marsh-marigold
Caltha palustris
Meadow Buttercup
Ranunculus acris
Goldilocks Buttercup
Ranunculus auricomus
Creeping Buttercup
Ranunculus repens
Creeping Spearwort
Ranunculus reptans
Pygmy Buttercup
Ranunculus pygmaeus
Arctic Buttercup
Ranunculus hyperboreus

2) Non yellow-flowered species of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)

Glacier Buttercup
Ranunculus glacialis
Thread-leaved
Water-crowfoot
Ranunculus trichophyllus
Alpine meadow-rue
Thalictrum alpinum
Wood
Anemone
Anemone nemorosa

3) Species of the poppy family (Papaveraceae)

Arctic Poppy
Papaver radicatum
Iceland Poppy
Papaver croceum


  Herbs, flowers have free petals (4): the Willowherb family, the Carrot/Parsley & Ivy families and the Pea family


This section introduces the Willowherb family, the Umbel (Carrot/Parsley) & Ivy families and the Pea family. They are grouped in the following links:
Arctic riverbeauty
Chamerion latifolium
Rosebay Willowherb
Chamerion angustifolium
Chickweed Willowherb
Epilobium alsinifolium
Hornemann's Willowherb
Epilobium hornemanni
Marsh Willowherb
Epilobium palustre
Alpine Willowherb
Epilobium anagallidifolium
Milky Willowherb
Epilobium lactiflorum
American Willowherb
Epilobium ciliatum
 Willowherb family (Onagraceae): a family of mainly bluish/purplish flowers. Typically willowherbs have flowers placed on top of a long stretched immature fruit. The fruits generally have more or less the same colour as the flowers (purplish). All more or less common species of this family consist of members of the Chamerion genus and the Epilobium species.

Garden Angelica
Angelica
archangelica
Wild Angelica
Angelica
sylvestris
Caraway
Carum carvi
Sweet Cicely
Myrrhis
odoratum
Cow Parsley
Anthriscus
sylvestris
Ground Elder
Aegopodium
podagraria
Scots Lovage
Ligusticum
scoticum
Giant Hogweed
Heracleum
mantegazzianum
Persian Hogweed
Heracleum
persicum
 Carrot family (Apiaceae formerly known as Umbelliferae): Typically for this family is the combination of compound leaves and umbel shaped inflorescense's, hence the (deprecated/old) family name Umbelliferae.

Marsh Pennywort
Hydrocotyle vulgaris
 The Marsh Pennywort was until recently regarded as a member of the parsley family (Apiaceae) but is now a member of the Ivy family (Araliaceae).
Nootka lupin
Lupinus nootkatensis
Tufted vetch
Vicia cracca
White Clover
Trifolium repens
Red Clover
Trifolium pratense
Sea Pea
Lathyrus japonicus
Kidney Vetch
Anthyllis vulneraria
 Pea family (Fabaceae also known as Papillionaceae): The members of the Pea family have a unique flower structure and fruits (pod fruits). The flower petals consists of a usually large top petal two side petals and a boat shaped bottom petal in which lies a column of the stamens and pistil with the early pod fruit.

  Herbs, flowers have free petals (5): Mustard family


Members of the mustard family - known both as Cruciferae and Brassicaceae - are pure herbaceas plants. Many vegetables belong to this group: cabbages, radish, etc. On Iceland many species of the wild are small and white flowering plants. Because there are also many white-flowering members of the pink family on Iceland - here is the simple way to distinguish them: pink family species always have opposite leaves along their stems, members of the mustard family never have opposite leaves along their stems.
The Draba genus with white flowers is common with a few species. Next to other white-flowering species there are also a few non-white flowering species.

Mustard family species 1: non-white flowering species

Lady Smock
Cardamine nymanii
Hawkweed-leaved
Treaclemustard
Erysimum hieracifolium
Small-flowered
Winter-cress
Barbarea stricta
Wintercress
Barbarea stricta

Mustard family species 2: white/yellow flowering species belonging to the Draba genus

Snow Whitlowgrass
Draba incana
Hoary Whitlowgrass
Draba nivalis
Rock Whitlowgrass
Draba norvegica
Alpine Whitlowgrass
Draba oxycarpa

aka Draba alpina

Mustard family species 3: All other white flowering species

Alpine Rock-cress
Arabis alpina
Northern Rock-cress
Arabidopsis petraea
Common Whitlowgrass
Erophila verna
Common Scurvygrass
Cochlearia officinalis
Arctic Sea Rocket
Cakile arctica
Awlwort
Subularia aquatica
Shepherd's Purse
Capsella bursa-pastoris


  Herbs, flowers have free petals (6): Pink family


Because the number of Pink species on Iceland is rather large, I have split the group in four series.

The first series includes the Chickweeds/Stitchwort group and Spurrey

Common Chickweed
Stellaria media
Lesser Stitchwort
Stellaria graminea
Fleshy Stitchwort
Stellaria crassifolia
Saltmarsh Stitchwort
Stellaria humifusa
Corn Spurrey
Spergula arvensis

The second series includes the Cerastium and Arenaria species (Mouse-ear and Sandworts):

Alpine Mouse-ear
Cerastium alpinum
Arctic Mouse-ear
Cerastium nigrescens
Starwort Mouse-ear
Cerastium cerastioides
Common Mouse-ear
Cerastium fontanum
Arctic Sandwort
Arenaria norvegica

The third series includes the Sagina species (Pearlwort species) and Minuartia(sandwort):

Knotted Pearlwort
Sagina nodosa
Alpine Pearlwort
Sagina saginoides
Procumbent Pearlwort
Sagina procumbens
Snow Pearlwort
Sagina nivalis
Tufted Pearlwort
Sagina caespitosa
Heath Pearlwort
Sagina subulata
Northern Sandwort
Minuartia biflora
Mountain Sandwort
Minuartia rubella

The fourth series includes the Lychnis (catchfly), Silene (campions) and Honckenya (Sea sandwort) species:

Alpine-catchfly
Lychnis alpina
Ragged Robin
Lychnis flos-cuculi
Moss Campion
Silene acaulis
Sea Campion
Silene uniflora
Red Campion
Silene dioica
Sea Sandwort
Honckenya peploides


  Herbs, flowers have free petals (7): Plantain family & related families (mare's tail, water-starworts and speedwell's)


First the three Plantain species

Sea Plantain
Plantago maritima
Greater Plantain
Plantago major
Ribwort Plantain
Plantago lanceolata

Second: related species (Hippuris and Callitriche species)

Mare's-tail
Hippuris vulgaris
Four-leaved Mare's-tail
Hippuris tetraphylla
Intermediate
Water-starwort
Callitriche hamulata
Vernal
Water-starwort
Callitriche palustris
Common
Water-starwort
Callitriche stagnalis
Water
Mudwort
Limosella aquatica

Third: related species (Veronica species)

Rock Speedwell
Veronica fructans
Alpine Speedwell
Veronica alpina
Heath Speedwell
Veronica officinalis
Marsh Speedwell
Veronica scutellata
Thyme-leaved Speedwell
Veronica serpyllifolia
Water Speedwell
Veronica anagallis-aquatica


  Herbs, flowers have free petals (8): Violets and miscellaneous other species with free petals


Wild Pansy
Viola tricolor
Alpine Marsh Violet
Viola palustris
introducing all viola's
Northern Marsh Violet
Viola epipsila
Heath Dog Violet
Viola canina

On Iceland four violet species are common. On the page of the Alpine Marsh Violet (V. palustris) the differences between the species are described. The link to this species is here.

Wood Crane's-bill
Geranium sylvaticum
Dwarf Cornel
Cornus suecica
Chickweed Wintergreen
Trientalis europaea
Fairy Flax
Linum catharticum

In this section we wrap up the remaining species with flowers having free petals. The species here are only distantly related.



  Flowers with fused petals 1: Gentian family


Gentians (family: Gentianaceae) are typically summer-flowering plants.

Alpine Gentian
Gentiana nivalis
Windmill Fringed Gentian
Gentianopsis detonsa
Marsh Felwort
Lomatogonium rotatum
Field gentian
Gentianella campestris
Northern Gentian
Gentianella aurea
Autumn Gentian
Gentianella amarella
Slender Gentian
Comastoma tenellum


  Flowers with fused petals 2: Broomrape, Mint and Lopseed (monkey flower) families


The thumbnails below link to species of the broomrape family (Orobranchaceae) on Iceland.
Alpine Bartsia
Bartsia alpina
Cold Eyebright
Euphrasia frigida
Drug Eyebright
Euphrasia stricta
Red-tipped Lousewort
Pedicularis flammea
Yellow-rattle
Rhinanthus minor

These species are semi-parasites: they tap their own root system into the roots of other plants in order to acquire (steal) nutrients from these other plants (often grasses). They have flowers with a left/right symmetry.


The thumbnails below link to mint species (Lamiaceae) of Iceland
Wild Thyme
Thymus praecox
Selfheal
Prunella vulgaris
White Dead-nettle
Lamium album
Common Hemp-nettle
Galeopsis tetrahit
Water Mint
Mentha aquatica

The number of mint species growing in the wild on Iceland is small. Actually only thyme and selfheal are considered indigenous. The two "nettles" are introduced weeds and the water mint is rare introduced species only growing only on a few thermal soils. The low number of species reflects the fact that the members of the mint family are generally warmth-loving species. Having said this though it should be noted that the arctic thyme (a subspecies of the wild thyme) is very common all over Iceland where plant-growth conditions are not extremely tough. Members of this family also have flowers with a left/right symmetry.


The thumbnail below link to lopseed family species (Phrymaceae) of Iceland
Monkey Flower
Mimulus guttatus

This is an introduced species (from America) growing in shallow creeks.



  Flowers with fused petals 3: Daisy family


The daisy family (Asteraceae) is a very large family. Characteristic for this family is that (very) many single flowers are grouped together in a flowerhead which in turn resembles one single flower. This is accentuated by the fact that often the outer ring of the flowers on the head have one long petiole (ligulate or ray flowers). The ring of these single ray flowers on the outer edge of the flowerhead make the head appear to be just one flower (think of the sunflower). This is not always the case! There are daisies with only ray flowers (like dandelion) and there are those without ray flowers at all (example: Pineaple weed / Tansy).

The thumbnails below link to daisy (Asteraceae) species with yellow flowers (or at least with a yellow heart).
Hawkweed
Hieracium spp
Alpine Hawkweed
Hieracium alpinum
Icelandic Hawkweed
Pilosella islandica
Autumn Hawkbit
Leontodon autumnalis
Dandelion
Taraxacum spp
Sea Mayweed
Tripleurospermum
maritimum
Also known as
Matricaria maritima
Pineappleweed
Matricaria discoidea
Colt's-Foot
Tussilago farfara
Tansy
Tanacetum vulgare
Groundsel
Senecio vulgaris
Seaside Groundsel
aka Seaside Ragwort
Jacobaea pseudoarnica

The thumbnails below link to daisy (Asteraceae) species of the Achilea and Erigeron genera.
Yarrow
Achillea millefolium
Sneezewort
Achillea ptarmica
Alpine Fleabane
Erigeron borealis
Dwarf Fleabane
Erigeron uniflorus
Arctic Alpine Fleabane
Erigeron humilis

The thumbnails below link to cudweed/everlasting species of the daisy (Asteraceae) family.
Dwarf Cudweed
Omalotheca supina
Highland Cudweed
Omalotheca norvegica
Marsh Cudweed
Gnaphalium uliginosum

The thumbnails below link to thistle-like species and mugwort (Asteraceae) = daisy family.
Perennial Cornflower
Centaurea montana
Squarrose Knapweed
Centaurea triumfetti
Creeping Thistle
Cirsium arvense
Mugwort
Artemisia vulgaris


  Flowers with fused petals 4: All others


Bellflowers, Forget-me-not's and Oysterplant (Campanulaceae and Boraginaceae families):

Harebell
Campanula rotundifolia

also info on C. uniflora
Clustered Harebell
Campanula glomerata
Field Forget-me-not
Myosotis arvensis
Water Forget-me-not
Myosotis scorpioides
Oyster plant
Mertensia maritima

Bedstraw (Galium) species (Rubiaceae family).

For other
bedstraws
see:
Northern bedstraw
Northern bedstraw
Galium boreale
Slender bedstraw
Galium normanii
Lady's Bedstraw
Galium verum

Follows the remaining herbs with fused petals: Thrift, Common Butterwort, Valerian and Devil's-bit Scabious species.
Sealavender family (Plumbaginaceae), Bladderwort family (Lentibulariaceae) and Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae)

Thrift
Armeria maritima
Common Butterwort
Pinguicula vulgaris
Hill Valerian
Valeriana officinalis
ssp sambucifolia
Devil's-bit Scabious
Succisa pratensis


  Monocotyledons: Lily groups including rushes


Lily family and closely related to the lily family members.
The number of species growing in the wild on Iceland of this group is very limited. Very common is the Scottish asphodel (Tofieldia pusilla). Quite common are Arrowgrasses (Marsh and Sea arrowgrasses). The Herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia) is more rare. It can be found in lava crevasses.

Herb Paris
Paris quadrifolia
Scottish asphodel
Tofieldia pusilla
Marsh Arrowgrass
Triglochin palustris
Sea Arrowgrass
Triglochin maritima

Rushes: Due to their leaf-forms, rushes appear at first glance to be something like grasses or sedges. Close inspection on flowers show they have - be it small - neat 6 floral leaves like lily flowers - very different to the complex spike(lets) inflorescences of sedges and grasses.


First: the Luzula rushes (known as Wood-rushes): wood-rushes have hairy grass blade-like leaves

Heath Wood-rush
Luzula multiflora
Sudetan Wood-rush
Luzula sudetica
Spiked Wood-rush
Luzula spicata
Curved Wood-rush
Luzula arcuata
Northern Wood-rush
Luzula confusa

Second: the Juncus rushes The Juncus rushes have hollow-pointed leaves (more or less like chives)
For conveniance I have split them in three groups: the taller species (20cm+), the middel-sized species (10 à 15 cm) and the smaller (low) species (rarely taller than 5 cm).

Taller species: over 30cm (usually 40cm+).

Arctic Rush
Juncus arcticus
subspecies: arcticus
>Arctic Rush
Juncus arcticus
subspecies: intermedius
Baltic Rush
Juncus balticus
Thread Rush
Juncus filiformis

Middle-sized species: 10 to 20 cm tall - (rarely up to 30cm)

Jointed Rush
Juncus articulatus
Alpine Rush
Juncus alpinoarticulatus
Chestnut Rush
Juncus castaneus
Three-leaved Rush
Juncus trifidus

Smaller (low) species (rarely over 5cm. tall ; occasionally up to 25cm.)

Three-flowered Rush
Juncus triglumis
Two-flowered Rush
Juncus biglumis
Frog Rush
Juncus ranarius =
Juncus ambiguus
Bulbous Rush
Juncus bulbosus


  Monocotyledons: Orchids

Orchids:
Although the number of common species is relatively low, orchids are common throughout the better vegetated regions of Iceland. Below are listed all more or less common orchid species of Iceland (just open any species and this list will appear).

Frog Orchid
Dactylorhiza viridis
Heath Spotted Orchid
Dactylorhiza maculata
ssp. intermedius
Northern Green Orchid
Platanthera hyperborea
Small-white orchid
Pseudorchis albida
Coralroot orchid
Corallorhiza trifida
Common Tayblade
Neottia ovata
Lesser Tayblade
Neottia cordata


  Monocotyledons: Sedges

The sedge family (Cyperaceae) is well represented in the Icelandic flora. The major group consists of the true sedges (Carex sp.). Other representatives are the Spike-rushes, Deergrass, and Cottongrasses.


Spike-rush species (Eleocharis sp.) and Deergrass (Trichophorum).

Common Spike-rush
Eleocharis palustris
Slender Spike-rush
Eleocharis uniglumis
Few-flowered Spike-rush
Eleocharis quinqueflora
Needle Spike-rush
Eleocharis acicularis
Deergrass
Trichophorum cespitosum

Cottongrasses: (Eriophorum sp).

Common Cottongrass
Eriophorum angustifolium
Scheuchzer's cottongrass
Eriophorum scheuchzeri

On Iceland many sedge-species can be found. The major genus with most species is the genus Carex. I have most common as well as a few less common species on this site. It is though far from complete!

In order to make it easier for you I have split the Carex-species in the following groups:


Carex species: Stems having only one terminal spike

Dioecious Sedge
Carex dioica
Mouse-tail Bog Sedge
Carex myosuroides
Bristle Sedge
Carex microglochin
Capitate Sedge
Carex capitata
Rock Sedge
Carex rupestris

Carex species: multiple spiked stems: spikes not distincly male or female, Spikes condensed at the top of flowering stems.

Curved Sedge
Carex maritima
Close-headed Alpine-sedge
Carex norvegica
Thick-head Sedge
Carex macloviana
Black Alpine-sedge
Carex atrata
Hare's-foot sedge
Carex lachenalii
String sedge
Carex chordorrhiza
Lesser Saltmarsh sedge
Carex glareosa
Reddish Sedge
Carex rufina

Also reference to C. bicolor

Carex species: multiple spiked stems: spikes not distincly male or female, Spikes more or less evenly spaced along flowering stems.

Star Sedge
Carex echinata
Silvery Sedge
Carex canescens
Brownish Sedge
Carex brunnescens
Mackenzie's Sedge
Carex mackenziei
Krause's Sedge
Carex krausei

Carex species: multiple spiked stems: spikes clearly divided in mainly female-flowered and mainly male-flowered types;
female flowers 3 styled.
(a) species with drooping female spikes

Hair Sedge
Carex capillaris
Mountain Bog-sedge
Carex rariflora
Common Bog-sedge
& Tall Bog-sedge
Carex limosa
& Carex paupercula
Glaucous Sedge
Carex flacca

(b) species with upright female spikes

Sheathed Sedge
Carex vaginata
Carnation Sedge
Carex panicea
Large Yellow-sedge
Carex flava
Pill Sedge
Carex pilulifera
Glacier Sedge
Carex glacialis
Bottle Sedge
Carex rostrata

Carex species: multiple spiked stems: spikes clearly divided in mainly female-flowered and mainly male-flowered types;
female flowers 2 styled.

Russet Sedge =
Rock Sedge
Carex saxatilis
Black Sedge
Carex nigra
ssp nigra
Black Sedge
Carex nigra
ssp juncea
Stiff Sedge
Carex bigelowii
Hoppner's Sedge
Carex subspathacea
Ramensk's Sedge
Carex ramenskii
Lyngbye Sedge
Carex lyngbyei


  Monocotyledons: Grasses

For most people, even nature lovers, grasses do not bring great enthousiasm. This is even more so when it concerns identification of grass species. To difficult, it is believed. That though is exaggerated. One needs to know the names of typical morphological elements of grasses. If you are not sure, check this.

The inflorescences of grasses are often divided in three classes, being:

By far the most species belong to the loose/ slightly contracted panicles group.

To quickly sieve through all grasses one can first settle the inflorescence type. If it belongs to the first group one can check the number of flowers in the spikelets and in case of many if the spikelets are somewhat flattened. Further identification is then not so difficult anymore.

Finally this section is yet far from complete but does include nearly all common grass species of Iceland. I am planning to introduce many more species in the future.


Panicles with spikelets having just one flower

Creeping Bent
Agrostis stolonifera
Brown Bent
Agrostis vinealis
Narrow Small-reed
Calamagrostis stricta
Whorl Grass
Catabrosa aquatica
Reed Canary Grass
Phalaris arundinaceaa

Panicles with spikelets having two - thee flowers

Holy-grass
Hierochloe odorata
Tufted Hair-grass
Deschampsia cespitosa
Waivy Hair-grass
Deschampsia flexuosa
Alpine Hair-grass
Deschampsia alpina
Cock's-foot
Dactylis glomerata
Common Reed
Phragmites australis

Panicles with spikelets having many flowers

Viviparous Sheep's-Fescue
Festuca vivipara
Arctic Fescue
Festuca richardsonii
Meadow Fescue
Schedonorus pratensis
Saltmarsh-grass
Puccinellia maritima
Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass
Puccinellia distans ssp borealis
Common Reed
Phragmites australis

Panicles with spikelets having few - many flowers: Poa species: these have rather flattened (keeled) spikelets.

Smooth Meadow-grass
Poa pratensis
Rough Meadow-grass
Poa trivialis
Alpine Meadow-grass
Poa alpina
Wavy Meadow-grass
Poa flexuosa
Glaucous Meadow-grass
Poa glauca

Spike-like panicles: Alopecurus and Phleum species

Meadow Foxtail
Alopecurus pratensis
Marsh Foxtail
Alopecurus geniculatus
Orange Foxtail
Alopecurus aequalis
Timothy
Phleum pratense
Alpine Cat's-tail
Phleum alpinum

Spike-like panicles: other species

Sweet Vernal-grass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Spiked Trisetum
Trisetum spicatum

True spikes

(American) Lyme-grass
Leymus (mollis) arenarius
Couch Grass
Elytrigia repens
Mat-grass
Nardus stricta


  Water plants

Members of the Potamogetonaceae are all true waterplants

Red Pondweed
Potamogeton alpinus
Various-leaved Pondweed
Potamogeton gramineus
Long-stalked Pondweed
Potamogeton praelongus
Broad-leaved Pondweed
Potamogeton natans
Perfoliate Pondweed
Potamogeton perfoliatus
Small Pondweed
Potamogeton berchtoldii
Slender-leaved Pondweed
Stuckenia filiformis

The following water plants are close relatives of the Plantain-family

Mare's-tail
Hippuris vulgaris
Four-leaved Mare's-tail
Hippuris tedtraphylla
Intermediate
Water-starwort
Callitriche hamulata
Vernal
Water-starwort
Callitriche palustris
Common
Water-starwort
Callitriche stagnalis

Miscellaneous other water plants.

Alternate Water-milfoil
Myriophyllum alterniflorum
Bur-reeds
Sparganium sp
Bogbean
Menyanthes trifoliata
Thread-leaved
Water-crowfoot
Ranunculus trichophyllus