The First Spring Flowers In Norway

There’s no feeling like seeing the first spring flowers, knowing that the winter is almost over and summer is on its way!

You won’t find a single flower during the first few months of the new year in Norway, but some species of flowers pop up already in March and April. The spring flower diversity is pretty low, but there are a few flowers that you can find in the early spring.

We will be looking closer at the Norwegian spring flowers in this article, teaching you what they are called in Norwegian, and where and when to look for them. Good luck on your hunt for the Norwegian spring flowers!

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

Coltsfoot is almost always the first flower you will find in Norway when spring arrives. This flower is called hestehov in Norwegian, and is a sure sign that spring is coming.

You can often find coltsfoot as early as March, but it’s more common during the first part of April. By late April it’s pretty much gone, and only the leaves remain.

The best place to look for coltsfoot is in areas with pebbles, and the first ones are often found just next to roads or trails. It thrives in open and sunny areas, and you won’t find it in the shaded forests.

They are pretty rare in the early spring, but will soon show up in great numbers.

Coltsfoot is the first flower that pops up in Norway in the spring. Photo by Nefronus / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Liverwort (Anemone hepatica)

Liverworts are also one of the first flowers that arrive in spring, but these are exclusive to forest areas. You can often find liverworts in big groups in sunny areas in otherwise shaded forests. So look for places where the sun can penetrate down to the bottom of the forest floor, and you might very well find liverworts.

The first liverworts might pop up in end late part of March in warmer years, but they are most common during April and May. This flower is a bit rare since it requires a pretty strict microclimate to grow. But if you find it once, it will almost certainly show up at the same location year after year.

Liverworts are called blåveis in Norwegian.

Liverworts. Photo by W.carter / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Wood anemone (Anemonoides nemorosa)

The wood anemone pops up a bit later than the liverwort or coltsfoot, but it’s still one of the first spring flowers to arrive in April. The cool things about wood anemones is that they are often found in huge numbers, and the forest floor can often be covered with them.

This plant is very common, and anyone who goes on trails or walks in the forest during April, May or June are guaranteed to find plenty of them. The Norwegian word for wood anemones is hvitveis.

The wood anemone is found anywhere where there’s forest, and can be found in both sunny and shaded areas. Keep in mind that this flower is a bit poisonous to touch, and can be dangerous if a child eats it. So wash your hands after handling it, and make sure that small children don’t have a taste of it.

Wood anemones
Wood anemones. Photo by Robert Flogaus-Faust / CC BY 4.0.

Alternate-leaved golden-saxifrage (Chrysosplenium alternifolium)

The alternate-leaved golden-saxifrage have a very long name in English, but it’s only called maigull in Norwegian. This can be translated to “May gold”, but it’s also often found in April.

You have the best chance of finding the alternate-leaved golden-saxifrages if you’re looking along small rivers and streams inside forests. This is where they thrive, but they can also occasionally be found close to bogs and mires or other areas where it’s very wet during the spring. They must have a moist ground to survive, so there’s not use looking for them if it’s on dry ground.

The earlier it is in spring, the more difficult it is to find this flower. The reason is that it’s mostly green during early spring, and the yellow on the flowers become brighter and more noticeable as they grow bigger. As it becomes more yellow, the plant stands out a bit more from the rest of the vegetation, which is especially useful as it often grows over moss.

Alternate-leaved golden-saxifrage
Alternate-leaved golden-saxifrages. Photo by Robert Flogaus-Faust / CC BY 4.0.

You will find hundreds of flower species in June, July and August

We have looked at some of the most common spring flowers that pop up in Norway during March, April and early May, but from the middle of May and onward, the flower diversity really takes a huge step forward.

June to August is the best time for picking Norwegian flowers, and there will be flowers all around you both in the lowlands as well as up in the mountains.

One staple of the Norwegian flora are the dandelions. These are found everywhere in Norway from May to September!

A huge field of dandelions. Photo by Vadim Indeikin / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Picking wild flowers in Norway

The freedom to roam also allows you to pick wild flowers in Norway without permission from the owner of the ground. This applies to “unfenced areas” (utmark), which means in the wild. So feel free to pick as many flowers as you or your children want in the forest, but don’t pick flowers from someone’s garden.

It is common for Norwegian children to pick bouquets of wild flowers and bring home to the parents. Put the wild flowers in a cup with some water, and they will look nice for 3 – 4 days before they wither.

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