FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Orthilia secunda, serrated wintergreen

Orthilia secunda; the serrated wintergreen is, like the common wintergreen a small plant ( up to 15 cm.) that grows in woodlands and sheltered places. It is, however, less widespread, and more common in northern Iceland. The flowers are aranged on one side (in line) on a bent flower stem. Wintergreen species show that Iceland's flora is not just about desert-like highlands but also about the potential of forest's - where wintergreens can thrive as undergrowth.
It used to be a member of the wintergreen family (Pyrolaceae). Recent DNA studies show they are so closely related to the heathers that they are now included in the heather family (Ericaceae). The Icelandic name of this species is Grænlilja.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise

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