Icelandic flora is exotic and diverse thus offering a perfect home for different species of animals. To underline the beauty of its vegetation Icelandic Post has introduced to collectors’ attention two special stamps depicting Moss campion and Sea champion.
StampNews.com invites our readers to appreciate these interesting philatelic items and to add them to your topical stamp collections.
Moss campion (Sileneacaulis) is of the Caryophyllaceae family. It is one of the most common plants found in Iceland. Its habitat is mainly in dry gravelly locations and dry grasslands, both in low-lying and mountainous regions. It has been found in 1440 m height. Moss campion flowers in early spring. It forms peculiar rounded tussocks with long and strong taproots, striking over to pink colour when the flowers are at their most beautiful in spring. The roots of moss campion are edible and have been used in porridges and fried in butter as accompaniment to meals.
Sea campion (Sileneuniflora) is a flowering plant of the Caryophyllaceae family, growing in gravel beds or sands. Usually, many stems grow up from the same root, 10-25 cm in length. A common misconception is that the sea campion is insectivorous since its calyx is frequently visited by flies. It is quite common in gravelly soil and pumice, but rarely found in well grown areas. The highest point at which it has been found is 1,000 meters. The sea campion is easily recognizable from all other local plants, especially by the bloated calyx which has earned it the name catchfly.