How is it Possible for Plants to Survive in Polar Regions on Earth and What do They Look Like?

For plants to exist in cold regions, they have to be able to survive the cold and then take advantage of the summer sun as soon as it’s possible to do so.

artic plant

For example, many of the shrubs are evergreens, because not having to grow leaves every year is a virtue in a place where there isn’t much sun.

Some have unusually dark-colored leaves, which helps absorb solar energy and melt nearby snow.

Many have bulbous and swollen roots, the better to store food reserves in readiness for a quick growth spurt when the sun shines again. Most arctic flowers are white or yellow.

That’s because they’re pollinated by flies that see only in black and white, as opposed to bees that use bright colors to find flowers.

Think of the sort of toughness it would take to be stuck in a place where for months at a time the sun don’t shine and the air ain’t warm.

And yet there are animals that not only survive polar extremes but actually seem to enjoy it.

From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.

Go figure.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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