The North Continent of Barrayar was the settlement site of the original colonists from Earth. It came to be divided into 60 Districts ruled by Counts; it is not known whether this division covered the entire continent or if there were yet-unclaimed regions. Mountain ranges on the continent included the Dendarii Mountains, which ran east-west through Vorkosigan's District and another near the northern coast, in Vorpatril's District.

The other continent on Barrayar was called the South Continent.

"The fifty thousand Firsters from Earth had only meant to be the spearhead of Barrayar's colonization. Then, through a gravitational anomaly, the wormhole jump through which the colonists had come shifted closed, irrevocably and without warning. The terraforming which had begun, so careful and controlled in the beginning, collapsed along with everything else. Imported Earth plant and animal species had escaped everywhere to run wild, as the humans turned their attention to the most urgent problems of survival. Biologists still mourned the mass extinctions of native species that had followed, the erosions and droughts and floods, but really, Miles thought, over the centuries of the Time of Isolation the fittest of both worlds had fought it out to a perfectly good new balance. If it was alive and covered the ground who cared where it came from?"
―Miles reflects on the ecology of the North Continent[src]

Native animals of the North ContinentEdit

  • "Bugs" – these were "tiny short-lived creatures that everyone on Barrayar but biologists called bugs"[1]
  • Horned hoppers – these were small creatures that could be caught and killed by house cats[2]

Imported animals on the North ContinentEdit

  • horses (widespread references)
  • trout, salmon, bass, pigs, dogs, cats[3]
  • cattle, red deer, goats[4]
  • sheep[5][6]
  • chickens and other birds[7]
  • bats were rare, due to shortage of edible insects[8]
  • bears (performing ones)[9]
  • silk worms[10]
  • wasps[11]

Native plants of the North ContinentEdit

  • Deerslayer vine – a plant grown by gardeners which tended to be touchy about illumination levels[12]
  • love-lies-itching – a plant that grew in massed groups suitable for borders, it was bright red[13]
  • razor-grass – a tall, billowing, blond plant that was not truly a grass, but did meet the razor qualification[13]
  • damnweed, henbloat, goatbane[13]
  • skellytum – similar to a tree, it had a moisture-conserving central barrel. It was generally brownish and about 5 meters in height, though it could be bonsai'd.[14]
  • scrubwire – a low, rounded plant with muted colors and a strong, spicy scent[15]
  • chuffgrass – a tall grassy plant with a sickly, citrus scent[15]
  • zipweed – a tall plant with blond and maroon stripes and a faint, sweet fragrance[15]

Imported plants on the North ContinentEdit

There would surely have been more of these than listed; probably most cultivated plants from Earth could be found on the continent.

  • maple (widespread references)
  • oak[16][17]
  • elm, hickory, vesper-birch[17]
  • walnut[18]
  • ebony trees were newly imported (three decades prior to time of Memory)[17]
  • juniper[19][1]
  • roses[1]
  • grapes (widespread references)
  • apples[1]
  • brillberry – these were red, seedy berries sometimes used in Winterfair cooking. They grew in patches, clinging to rocks and sometimes near overhangs.[1][20][21][22]
  • buckwheat – these were probably the grain Barrayarans usually consumed as "groats"[23]
  • cabbages[22]
  • cauliflower[22]
  • onions[1]


Mount Sencele, where the Imperial Service Academy sent candidates on 100 kilometer runs was probably on the North Continent.[24]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "The Mountains of Mourning"
  2. The Warrior's Apprentice chapters 5,14
  3. Memory chapter 20
  4. Barrayar chapter 11
  5. The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 18
  6. The Vor Game chapter 6
  7. Cryoburn chapter 2
  8. Memory chapter 4
  9. Memory chapter 19
  10. Shards of Honor
  11. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen chapter 14
  12. Komarr chapter 1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Komarr chapter 2
  14. Komarr
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 A Civil Campaign chapter 8
  16. A Civil Campaign chapter 1
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Memory chapter 10
  18. A Civil Campaign chapter 17
  19. The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 212
  20. Komarr chapter 17
  21. Mirror Dance chapter 14
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Barrayar chapter 16
  23. The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 19
  24. The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 2