Some Wildflowers of the Irish Bog Landscape

Whites & Pinks in the Irish Bog Whites & Pinks in the Irish Bog ©Panoramic Ireland 2013

Irish Bogs

Irish bogs are interesting places, sometimes thought of as barren wasteground and fit only for cutting for fuel or conversion to forest, they cover approximately 12,000km2 of the country.

Two types of bog are found in Ireland, blanket bog and raised bog.

Raised bogs are quite unique and were formed following the end of the last ice age. In a few stages, plants then mosses grew in watery depressions left behind as the ice retreated and eventually, over thousands of years of growth and decay formed bogland.

Blanket bogs cover larger areas and Ireland possesses 8% of the world's blanket bog. These were formed after the end of the last ice age, and spread through climate change, Ireland became wetter, and land use change often brought about by the activities of man (tree felling and other clearance of land).

I intend to talk a little more about these bogs in a following article but for now here are a few images of some of the plants that grow in bogland and the colour they give to the landscape.

Bog cotton - Eriophorum angustifolia is a well known plant of Irish bogs in the summer months and is so called because it resembles cotton. It looks like a lot of cotton wool or cotton ball has got blown off the back of a truck. It can't be used to make a cotton like material but has been used to make paper.

The pinks are from Ragged Robin - Silene flos-cuculi, favoured by butterflies and bees in the Irish landscape, these wildflowers grow in wet ground and are best seen in early summer.

So next time you're travelling through the midlands of Ireland or hiking into the mountains stop and have a look for these interesting plants and consider how important and unique the Irish bog landscape is.

Bog cotton in an Irish bog on an overcast day

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