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The Fantastic Flora of Iceland – A Photo Essay

Iceland is a stark and severe environment, yet somehow the most beautiful plants and animals thrive there. Here are a few of my favorite flowers and plants.

It’s hard to believe such beautiful flowers and plants can survive in such a harsh climate, but when we visited we marveled at how beautiful is was! I don’t know much about plants. You certainly wouldn’t want to leave yours in my care for long, but I do love viewing them. Here are some of the gorgeous flowers and greenery we encountered all over Iceland.

Purple stemmed flowers go to seed like dandelions.

Iceland’s Plants are Spectacular

Purple wildflowers fill a field in Iceland.

If you want to see flowers, you will want to go to Iceland in May, June, July, or August. Yes, that’s when the majority of people visit, but there’s a good reason for it. Summer lets you drive around without getting bogged down. The animals, and especially the Icelandic horses, are out in the pastures, and really even though there are plenty of tourists, it’s not as crowded as anywhere else you might think of going.

Stunning little white marsh grass flowers.
Wild arctic thyme in Iceland has the most beautiful purple flowers.
Icelandic bluebells have a deep rich color.
It might be called common yarrow, but the billowy clouds of white flowers are anything but common.
I'm not sure what this flower was, but it reminds me of a jellyfish.
Purple grass flowers in Iceland.
Purple grass flowers in Iceland.
Arctic cotton blowing on the wind.
A lonely mushroom grows in a tuft of moss near a lichen covered rock.

Which is your favorite?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Corinne Vail

Thursday 13th of October 2016

Susanna, We lived in Alaska for eight years. You are right, there's a lot of similarities and they're all beautiful!

Adelina // Pack Me To

Tuesday 21st of October 2014

Gorgeous! I really like that blue one in the middle in the portrait image and the purple ones above what I think are lavender (?). I'm terrible with naming anything green, but they sure look pretty.

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

Adelina, I'm so bad at plant names that I don't even bother anymore, but I still love to look at them! Thanks.

Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

Sunday 19th of October 2014

I used to think that Iceland was covered in ice, but I am learning that that is not the case. I like all the white, puffy flowers. They remind me of snowballs or ice crystals, so they seem apropos for the country.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 19th of October 2014

Michele, It's funny you pick those...I was obsessed with them. Jim was getting very irritated with me as I stopped way too often for them.

rhonda albom

Saturday 18th of October 2014

So many beautiful and delicate looking flowers. I agree, hard to believe they can survive in that harsh climate. My favorite are the blue bells

Corinne Vail

Saturday 18th of October 2014

Rhonda, I might have to agree with you. Thanks.

Adrian of Adrian's Travel Tales

Saturday 18th of October 2014

Lavender plants, there is something so homey and right about seeing them and smelling them. They are all amazing though, great photography!

Corinne Vail

Saturday 18th of October 2014

Adrian, Thank you!