Linnaea borealis

The Linnea Borealis.

Sweden - National Flowers

Sweden has a variety of colourful and assorted flowers that grow across the country. Sweden’s vast natural habitat provides ample opportunity for plant life and the Swedes are known to support such a habitat. Linnea Borealis or Twinflower are pink bell-like fragrant flowers that grow in pairs.

The Linnea Borealis is the unofficial national flower of the Kingdom of Sweden. Sweden may not have an official national flower, yet it does have flowers that are representative of land divisions by province.

The notion of having flowers representing provinces was inspired by North America with their state flowers. It began in Sweden from the year of 1908 due to two Swedes, namely August Wickström and Paul Petter Waldenström. Some provinces have two allocated flowers, this arose from there being disagreement over what the right flowers was for a specific province.

The following are some provincial flowers:
The province of Blekinge -
•English oak or pedunculate oak or French oak (Quercus robur) is a long lived deciduous tree that produces oak. Oaks have been used to produce coffee alternatives, acorn flour and to be sources of natural hair dye. The Kvilleken, is an ancient oak tree that lives in Sweden, which is reputed to be over 1000 years old. This flower from this tree is locally known as Ek.
•Mullein is a hairy plant with a tall stem that produces a rosette of leaves along the upper stretch and densely packed small yellow flowers, locally known as Kungsljus. This plant has some medicinal properties, such as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant (for coughs) and astringent. The flowers have been used to dye hair.
The province of Bohuslän –
•Honeysuckle is a plant that produces tubular two lipped creamy to yellow flowers. The flowers are noted for their sweet aroma, specifically at night and are locally known as Vildkaprifol.
The province of Dalarna -
•Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is a bellflower, locally named Blåklocka. Each flower consists of five white, pink or violet-blue petals joined together that forms a bell like shape.
•Spreading bellflower (Campanula patula) has white or pale blue upright funnel shaped petals. This plant has long pointed leaves. This bellflower is not like general bellflowers, as its petals are spread out while also being more pointed and is known as Ängsklocka locally.
The province of Dalsland –
•Water Forget-me-not or True Forget-me-not is an open blue flower with a yellow centre. In Sweden it is referred to as Förgätmigej.
The province of Gotland –
•Common Ivy or English Ivy produces high nectar containing greenish yellow flowers. They are named locally as Murgröna. Some people develop contact dermatitis from contact with the leaves of this plant. The leaves and berries are also known to have medicinal use in the past, such as an expectorant.
The province of Gästrikland –
•Lily of the Valley is a poisonous plant that produces delicate sweet smelling usually white (rarely pink) bell shaped flowers. This flower is commonly used at weddings, held by the bride. They are known as Liljekonvalj locally.
The province of Halland –
•Hairy Greenweed, Vancouver Gold and Creeping Broom, Gold Flash Broom (Genista pilosa) is a plant that reaches about 30 to 45 cm and produces a yellow flowers (locally known as Hårginst).
The province of Hälsingland –
•The flax plant produces the starting material for many useful products, such as linen and flax seeds (linseeds). The flowers have five petals and are pale blue or bright red. They are known locally as Lin.
The province of Härjedalen -
•Spring Pasqueflower, Arctic Violet, Lady of the snows (Pulsatilla vernalis) produces a white with violet colouring on the outer petal and inner middle yellow stamen. Known in Sweden as Mosippa.
•Twoflower violet (Viola biflora) produces a typically bright yellow flower with dark lines over the petals. Locally referred to as Fjällviol.
The province of Jämtland -
•Nigritella nigra is a deep red type of orchid, locally named Brunkulla.
The province of Lappland –
•Mountain Avens, White dryas, and White dryad (Dryas octopetala) is alpine plant. Fjällsippa is the name of this flower in Sweden. It belongs to the Rosaceae family;the usual number of petals in this family is for there to be five per flower. However this special flower of Sweden has eight petals, and sometimes more. The petals are creamy white with numerous middle yellow protruding stamen. It grows on naturally dry areas, such as rocky terrain.
The province of Medelpad –
•Norway spruce or European spruce is a type of spruce (evergreen trees that look like what we may commonly call Christmas trees) and these trees produce cones. Commonly known as Gran in Sweden.
•The Globe-flower is 3cm in diameter and globe shaped. This bright yellow flower, is known locally as Smörboll, and thrives in damp areas. It is known to be mildly poisonous and to possess purgative properties.
The province of Norbotten –
•Åkerbär is the local name of the Arctic raspberry (Rubus arcticus). This bramble plant is part of the Rose family and produces raspberries (fruit) and small pink purple flower. It tends to thrive in northern Sweden.
The province of Närke –
•Cowslip or common cowslip produces generally a yellow flower, one stem of the plant tends have 10 to 30 blooms. In Sweden it is commonly known as Gullviva.
The province of Skåne –
•Common daisy, oxeye daisy, dog daisy or moon daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a flower that depicts the typical daisy with white petals or florets and the deep yellow orange middle round pollen holding centre. Locally called Prästkrage. The daisy can be used as a food, when the unopened flower buds are marinated, to be prepared and eaten like capers.
The province of Småland –
•Twin flower (Linnaea borealis), known in Sweden generally as Linnea is a pale pink flower that droops downwards.
The province of Södermanland –
•European White Waterlily, White Lotus, or Nenuphar (Nymphaea alba), is known locally as Vit näckros. This aquatic plant has large leaves and tends to thrive in ponds and lakes. The flowers have white upright petals and many middle yellow stamen. The flower is known to have medicinal effects, one of them being as a sedative.
In the province of Uppland –
•Snake's head fritillary, Snake's head, Chess flower, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen flower, Leper lily, Lazarus bell, Checkered lily or Fritillary are some well-known names of this flower. The flower has a chequered pattern in varying shades of purple or it may be white. Commonly known as Kungsängslilja in Sweden, as it is known that during every spring season it tends to blossom widely in a part of the country called King’s meadow. The name of this flower in Sweden is translated as being ‘Lily of King’s meadow’. It has a bell shape and thrives in damp soil environments.
In the province of Värmland –
•Artic starflower or Chickweed wintergreen (Trientalis europaea) has a flower that blooms in mid-summer. Locally referred to as Skogsstjärna. The flowers are small, being 1 to 2 cm in diameter and having 6 to 8 petals.
In the province of Västerbotten –
•Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum is a root parasite plant that produces flowers. In Sweden it is called Kung Karls spira.
In the province of Västergötland –
•Common heather, heather or ling (calluna vulgaris) is a shrub that produces mauve, pink, purple, red and sometimes white coloured drooping flowers. In the wild these flowers tend to be mauve or white. These flowers tend to bloom in the late part of summer. The plant has been used to make an outdoor traditional broom (called a besom), dye wool a yellow colour and to tan leather. Beer has been brewed from this shrub. Deer are able to consume the upper sections of this shrub, when there is snow cover as the shrub is not that short. The name used for this flower in Sweden is Ljung.
In the province of Västmanland –
•Mistletoe, Common mistletoe or European mistletoe (Viscum album) is a type of mistletoe shrub. It produces berries and small yellow-green flowers. It is a parasitic shrub as it grows on the stems of other trees. This is known as Mistel in Sweden.
In the province of Ångermanland –
•Heartsease, heart's ease, heart's delight, tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, three faces in a hood or love-in-idleness (Viola tricolor) is a popular wild flower not only in Sweden but also in Europe. This flower is the originator of the pansy flower. Heartsease is used as the source of various coloured dyes. The flower, commonly known as Styvmorsviol in Sweden, has diuretic and expectorant properties and has been used for various ailments including skin problems and epilepsy.
In the province of Öland –
•Helianthemum oelandicum, locally called Ölandssolvända, is generally a bright yellow flower.
In the province of Östergötland –
•Bachelor's button, Bluebottle, Boutonniere flower, Hurtsickle, Cyani flower or Cornflower is a bright blue flower. The outstanding blue colour is due to the presence of protocyanin. The plant has been used as chicory (a coffee substitute). A decoction of this flower has been used as an eye remedy or wash.should not travel on an air balloon as on arrival the basket may thud into the ground with a knock or bump.

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