From coast to summit - Norwegian Mugwort
 
Artemisia novegica
Norwegian Mugwort Artemisia norvegica is found in Norway, the Northern Ural Mountains and Scotland. The Scottish plants are sufficiently distinct to have roots of Norwegian Mugwortbeen named var. scotica. It is smaller than the plants found in Norway and the Urals and the leaves are not so divided. The hairy rosettes are only a few centimetres across and the flowerheads are on short stems up to six centimetres high. It has thick roots that anchor it into the stony ground.

The plants grow on sparsely vegetated gravelly soil on exposed ridges where there is little protection from the wind. The Scotish populations are only found on three mountain tops: Cul Mor, Seana Bhraigh and Carn Ban. Monitoring plots have been established as this species is one that could be lost due to climate change. As it already grows on summit ridges it cannot migrate to higher altitudes to find a similar cool habitat. The plants already appear to be in a suboptimal condition as they do not appear to produce viable seed.

The Cul Mor site was only found in 1950, and the others in 1957 and 1971 and other new sites could yet be found. There might also be small subpopulations near the main areas and any grid references will be welcome to add to the known distribution. Send to h.mchaffie@rbge.org.uk