The vegetation of Ireland is not particularly rich when compared with other European states. This is due to the cool, although mild, climate and the small size of the island.
But for a modest area (70.2 thousand km²), 3815 plant species is a lot!
Only flowers in Ireland – 2196 species. Bright thistles, cornflowers, buttercups, cuckoo blossoms, primroses, eyebright carpet the endless Irish meadows. And mountain pastures are decorated with a variety of heathers, meadows of blueberries and black crows (black cloudberries).
Mild winters allow delicate violets, orchids, rhododendrons to grow on the island. Moisture and coolness have become ideal conditions for 556 species of ordinary mosses, 229 species of liverworts, 79 species of ferns.
Forests occupy about 12% of the area of the state. Birches and oaks predominate. Behind them are rowan, hazel, pine (12 species), yew, aspen. Orchids, sorrel, oak anemone, bluebells, honeysuckle, aronic, Robert’s geranium adjoin trees in the forests.
Heathers, swamp cotton, cranberries, sundews, ferns, gammarbia (marsh orchid) grow on Irish swamps. On the approaches to the swamps – alder, birch, gray willow.
There is a unique place in Ireland – The Burren. It covers only 0.5% of the area in the west of the island, but over 70% of the 900 native Irish herbs and flowers can be found there. A survey in 2001 identified sections of the Burren, where per 1 sq. m accounts for 28 to 45 plant species. Only 20 species of orchids were found there.