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Vegetation area - The Alpine Botanical Garden in Hemavan


Vegetation Area 1
This place displays the vegetation on former unregulated lake and river beaches in the mountain area, with high water in the early summer, and low water in the late summer and autumn. Prior to the regulation of hydroelectric power, these beaches presented unique and remarkably species-rich plant communities. Alpine plants and lowland plants that migrated here, met on the river banks. At the highest point of the beach, the high water deposited nutrient-rich sediment, creating fertile soils with thriving vegetation, for example cinnamon rose. Furthest down on the beach, amphibian plants formed flowering mats when the water receded and they were left on dry land. All of this has disappeared from the river Umeälven, which is completely regulated, but many of these plants can now be found in vegetation area no 1. The plants have been gathered from Vindelälven and Vojmån. The Jämtland dandelion (Taraxacum crocodes) is particularly interesting with its orange-red flowers.

Vegetation Areas 2-6

The areas 2-6, which are situated near the eastern part of the beach, are very exposed to the wind, and this makes them suitable for small and low plants. Here, mainly plants from the pea family, the carnation family, the saxifrage family and the orpine family are found. Other wind hardy plants, such as arctic poppy, thrive particularly well here.


Vegetation Areas 7-9

The areas 7-9 are special areas for some so-called "difficult" groups of species: No 7 vascular cryptogams (ferns, horsetails and club mosses) no 8 grass and sedge, and no 9 the sedge family.



Dwarf cornel, Cornus suecica

Vegetation Areas 10-12
The areas 10-12 display plant communities, that is, plants in a natural mixture from: No 10, low-alpine heath on calcareous-poor soils, and no 12, low-alpine heath on calcareous soils. In no 10, there are few labels, indicating few species. Area no 12 has a veritable forest of labels, which shows that the calcareous low-alpine heath is the most species-rich community in the mountains. The mountain avens, the provincial flower of Lapland, grows between the moss-covered limestone boulders. It is a creeping dwarf shrub with a multitude of flowering herbs. The intermediate area, no 11, symbolically equipped with a small top cairn, displays high-alpine plants. Even before midsummer, glacier crowfoot, snow buttercup and purple saxifrage bloom here. Further into the summer there are only species of grass and sedge, as well as beautiful stones covered with map lichen.

Vegetation Area 13
Area no 13 has been made into "Flora Islandica". The Icelandic flora is very similar to the Scandinavian alpine flora, and the vegetation on younger lava fields has some similarities to vegetation on serpentine soils, see below.


Vegetation Areas 14-15
There are plenty of stones in vegetation area 14-15 as well, but these stones are of a different kind. They are reddish-brown and there is no map lichen growth. This is serpentine, a peculiar mineral which constitutes the main part of the much frequented mountain top of Atoklimpen. Serpentine stone contains nickel which makes it poisonous for a large number of plants. Therefore the flora on the serpentine consists of a very limited number of species, that can grow on this substrate. Most of them belong to the carnation family. Some of the plants displayed in areas 14 and 15 are serpentine endemic, which means that in the wild they grow exclusively on serpentine.

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