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Flora[edit]

Further information: List of flora of Greenland and Flora of Greenland

310 species of vascular plants were said to be found in Greenland in 1911, including 15 endemic species. Although individual plants can be profuse in favourable situations, relatively few plant species tend to be represented in a given place. Except for in Qinngua Valley, Greenland has no native forests,[2] although 9 stands of conifers had been cultivated by 2007.[1]

In northern Greenland, the ground is covered with a carpet of mosses and low-lying shrubs such as dwarf willows and crowberries. Flowering plants in the north include yellow poppy, Pedicularis, and Pyrola.[3][2] Plant life in southern Greenland is more abundant, and certain plants, such as the dwarf birch and willow, may grow several feet high.

The only natural forest in Greenland is found in the Qinngua Valley. The forest consists of mainly of downy birch (Betula pubescens) and grey-leaf willow (Salix glauca), growing up to 7–8 metres (23–26 ft) tall.[4]

Horticulture shows a certain degree of success. Plants such as broccoli, radishes, spinach, leeks, lettuce, turnips, chervil, potatoes and parsley are grown up to considerable latitudes, while the very south of the country also rears asters, Nemophila, mignonette, rhubarb, sorrel and carrots.[2] Over the last decade, the growing season has lengthened by as much as three weeks.[1]

In the 13th-century Konungs skuggsjá (King's mirror), it is stated that the old Norsemen tried in vain to raise barley.[2]