ChamerionLatifolium is the national flowerof Greenland. Chamerionlatifoliumitself is the scientific name of this flower and it is commonly known as niviarsiaqin Greenland. Chamerionlatifolium is a species of flowering plant in the evening primrose family known by the English common names dwarf fireweedand river beauty willowherb.
It has a circumboreal distribution, appearing throughout the northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including subarctic and Arctic areas such as snowmelt-flooded gravel bars and talus, in a wide range of elevations. Because of the abundance of these pink beauties throughout the country, ChamerionLatifolium has been selected as the national flower of Greenland.
Facts about Greenland’s National Flower (ChamerionLatifolium)
- Common Name: Dwarf Fireweed or River Beauty Willowherb
- Genus: Chamerion
- Species: latifolium
- Found in: River bars, stream banks,mountains, talus slopes
- Color: Pink, Purple
- Number of petals: 5
- Form of the tree: herbaceous
- Time of blooming: June to September
- Purpose: Ornamental tree
- Symbolism: Youth
ChamerionLatifolium is the favorite national flower symbol of the Greenlandic people.The tree of this beautiful pink flower is a low, bushy plant with clustered stems 4-16 in. tall. They bear pairs of somewhat waxy, bluish-green, lance-shaped leaves which increase in length up the stem. The leaves subtend a terminal raceme of large, four-petaled, rose-purple flowers. Dwarf Fireweed is a member of the evening-primrose family (family Onagraceae), which includes mainly herbs, rarely shrubs or trees with often showy flowers borne singly, in racemes or spikes, or in branched clusters.
The family of about 17 genera and 675 species is found worldwide, but is especially abundant in temperate regions of the New World.Stems may be glaucous, and are usually hairless. Leaves are relatively thick, large and closely spaced, and they may have strigose hairs along the edges and the midvein; otherwise they are hairless. The four narrow, spreading, pointed sepals (up to one inch in length) also have a short, strigose hair covering, on the outer surfaces. Above these are four broader, veined pink petals, usually slightly lighter pink in color.
The national flower of Greenland, the dwarf fireweed or Chamerionlatifolium, is very similar to the more widespread Chamerionangustifolium, but the main differences between the two are that the leaves are grey-green rather than bright green, the undersurfaces of the leaves have only a central vein and no prominent side veins, the plants are much shorter, the flowers are less numerous, and the flowers are somewhat larger.
This arctic plant provides valuable nutrition for the Inuit, who eat the leaves raw, boiled with fat, or steeped in water for tea, the flowers and fruits raw, and as a salad with meals of seal and walrus blubber.Every part of this plant is edible, tasting much like spinach. The flowers attract bees and hummingbirds due to its ragged appearance. Fireweed provides food to some animals as well as healing properties to the humans. Fireweed is used to treat swelling, inflammation, wounds, tumors, fevers and enlarged prostate. It is also known in the Canadian tundra as River Beauty. It is the national flower of Greenland with the Greenlandic name niviarsiaq (“little girl”).
To sum up, the national floral symbol of Greenland, ChamerionLatifolium, not only adorns the riversides of the country, it also adds nutritional values and health benefits to the people who consume it. No wonder these little flowers are the national flowers of Greenland.