Flora of Northern Ireland
Saussurea alpina
© Graham Day
Saussurea alpina
(Map updated: March 2008)
 

This is an arctic-alpine species scattered across Ireland in a few mountain ranges, mainly in the west. The only sites in the east are in the Wicklow Mountains and the Mourne Mountains. Only one of the Mourne Mountains (Slieve Muck) has the plant, where it was discovered about one hundred years ago, but not seen to flower until 1937. It grows sparingly in fissures of a slaty rock at about 1800 feet altitude.

This plant has long-oval leaves and a dense mass of purple flowerheads at the top of its stem, which reaches about eight inches or more in height. It flowers in August.

All names: Saussurea alpina (L.) DC.