Red campion, Silene dioica
The plant is widely known as red campion, while its botanical name is Silene dioica. Red campion is a member of the carnation family, of the genus Silene. In addition to the red campion, its relative the moss campion (Silene acaulis) grows on the Faeroe Islands. The Faroese name bjargablóma (mountain flower) is given to the flower because it is a mountain-dwelling wild flower that grows in attractive dense cushions with pink and occasionally white flowers. Only in the Faeroe Islands is the word ‘mountain’ linked to the plant’s name, so the Faroese name is accepted as being original. Red campion grows in steep rocky slopes and in inaccessible lower-mountain areas. Red campion is a rare plant. It is not found on any of the smaller islands or on Sandoy or Eysturoy. It is considered to be an indigenous Faroese plant, i.e. it was brought to the islands by the wind, ocean currents or birds and not by human activity. Red campion is an herbaceous perennial and can grow to just over a metre in height. It flowers in July. The vertical stalks grow from a slender, creeping stock. The plant has two kinds of hairy leaves. The upper leaves are pointed and without stalks while the lower leaves have long, winged stalks and are oval-shaped. The red and occasionally white petals are large and the flower has a central ring of flaps. Red campion is a dioecious species, with separate male and female plants. The male plant has a 10-veined calyx and the female plant has a 20-veined calyx. The fruit is an ovoid capsule that opens up at the apex with ten teeth, which curve back.
Wood Cranesbill, Geranium sylvaticum
The plant is widely known as Wood Cranesbill, its Faroese name “litingarsortugræs” (colour black grass) and its botanical name is Geranium sylvaticum. It is the only species of Cransebill found on the Faeroe Islands. Its Faroese name refers to the fact that the plant is used to make natural black dye. The Icelandic name also refers to the plant’s natural black dye. The name of the plant in other countries derives from the special five-sectioned stalk, which looks like the head and beak of a crane when the petals have fallen off. Hence its common Danish name “Storknæb” (storksbill). Similar plants in the same genus are commonly called cranesbills and heron’s bill. Storksbill grows on the Faroe Islands. It is considered to be an indigenous Faroese plant, i.e. it was brought to the islands by the wind, ocean currents or birds and not by human activity. It is not found on the smallest islands and is rarely found on Suðuroy or Sandoy but is common on Streymoy and Eysturoy. It grows on low-lying land and is never found growing on heights greater than 300 metres. It is a perennial plant that flowers in June and July. It can grow up to 50 cm in height and has a vertical stalk with long hairs at the top and short hairs at the bottom. The leaves are very large and divided into fine leaflets. The flowers are typically blue and sometimes red. Fully-grown, the flowers are 10–18 mm in diameter and grow in pairs. In general, the plant is dioecious. It has five blue or red petals, and the centre of the flower is light, almost white. The flower and seed pod is divided into five single fruits.
Anna Maria Fosaa
Values: two stamps of 14.00 and 20.00DKK
Date of issue: 26-IV-2011
Author: Astrid Andreasen
Printer: Cartor Security, France