A 2 m thick laminated lacustrine deposit of silt and clay recovered from the high-latitudinal site at Sokli (northern Finland) provides a unique mid-Weichselian fossil record for Fennoscandia. High-resolution botanical and zoological analyses of the lacustrine deposit allow detailed reconstruction of the regional vegetational development and of the history of the lake and the wetland ecosystem within the Sokli basin during the early part of the Weichselian Middle Pleniglacial (= equivalent to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3). The inferred terrestrial vegetation represented by the Sokli MIS 3 sequence (so-called Tulppio Interstadial) was probably low-arctic tundra, treeless but with shrub elements including juniper, willow, dwarf birch, ericoids, lycopods and a rich herb flora with a variety of arctic-alpine taxa and heliophilous, pioneer elements. The presence of herbs such as Rubus chamaemorus, Epilobium palustre, Potentilla palustris and Sphagnum, Drepanocladus and other mosses suggests that the lake was fringed by wet meadows and peatlands or peaty telmatic communities. The distributional ranges of pine and tree birch were probably only a few hundred kilometres south or southeast of Sokli. This is concordant with evidence for the presence of boreal tree taxa during the MIS 3 in the Baltic countries and further east in Europe, but contradicts with the commonly inferred treeless tundra or grass-dominated steppe conditions in central Europe. © 2008 The Authors, Journal compilation © 2008 The Boreas Collegium.