Plants That Thrive In The Arctic

August 23, 2013 10:21 pm0 commentsViews: 33

By: Allie-May Redmond

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The Arctic Tundra is an area of land where the subsoil is permafrost, or, permanently frozen for most of the year. There is only a thin layer of soil, called the active layer that thaws once a year.

In these types of conditions, where it is also constantly windy up to 100mph, it is impossible for trees to grow; therefore many other plants thrive instead.

Only plants with shallow root systems can grow here but still there are just under 2000 different species of plants that thrive on the Arctic Tundra.

The Pasque Flower

The Pasque Flower has tiny hairs that it uses for insulation against the harsh weather and grows through north-western America and right up into Alaska. The biological name of the Pasque Flower is Pulsatilla and it is the provincial flower of Canada. It is also highly toxic as it produces cardiogenic toxins and oxytoxins which can slow human heart rates and lead to vomiting and convulsions if exposed to excess.

Blackfoot Indians and Native Americans have used it to induce childbirth and labour. Extracts of Pulsatilla has also been used to treat reproductive problems such as premenstrual syndrome. This could be a useful one to have in the office if your woman to man ratio is quite high.

Arctic Moss

Arctic Moss also called Calliergon Giganteum is a fairly common aquatic plant that grows on the bottom of the tundra lake beds. It has tiny rootlets instead of roots and never has wood stems or flowers.

In order to adapt to its cold climate Arctic Moss stores nutrients so that new leaves can be made easily the next spring for the purpose of photosynthesis. In terms of uses for the Calliergon Giganteum, there are few apart from warming the ground for other plants to grow on and helping scientists learn about life on our planet.

Bearberry

A low growing evergreen, the Bearberry has leathery leaves and pink or white petals with red berries that bloom anywhere between March and June. The Bearberry grows on rock outcrops and in shallow soil in areas that range from northern California to Alaska and east from Oregon and Washington.

All parts of the Bearberry can be used in some way; the fruit can be eaten and the roots can be made into a tea. Tea from the stem can aid recovery after childbirth and the leaves can be used as a tobacco substitute.

Arctic Poppy

The Arctic Poppy, also called the yellow poppy or the Papaver radicatum is one of the most northerly growing plants in the world. They are found growing in the northern most areas of Scandinavian meadows, mountains and dry river beds.

It is an extremely tough plant but the petals are very delicate. The arctic poppy is heliotropic, which means it naturally turns its face to follow the sun to attract insects to the centre of its bloom.

These are some of my favourite Arctic plants, but if you have any suggestions of your own just add them in the comments below!

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Allie-May Redmond is a keen gardener and homemaker and believes that the office should also be a homely environment. She recommends Ambius for all your office plant needs.

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