Welcome to the colorful world of the Alpine summer! Some of the hardiest, most beautiful flowers in the world grow and cavort in one of its harshest realms--- the cold, windswept world above treeline. They survive by hugging the ground to avoid the worst of the weather, thus conserving moisture and warmth. Their small size reduces the need for water and nutrients. Many will flower and set fruit early, because flowering does not require the heat of high summer, but seed ripening does.
Many tundra plants can grow in temperatures barely above freezing and carry on photosynthesis in colder conditions than their low elevation counterparts. Many contain anthocyanins, chemicals that warm plant tissue by converting light into heat. Wile others conserve moisture by growing as compact cushion plants.
This week (and maybe next...) I'll feature some of the beautiful, colorful plants we encountered on our June adventure in the Rocky Mountains. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! :-)
In this image.... We're crossing the Continental Divide at over 12,000 feet.
Left to Right: Lackawanna Peak (13,661 ft); Ellingwood Ridge; La Plata Peak (14,343 ft); Star mountain (12,941 ft)
Purple Fringe (Phacelia sericea), purple;
Mountain Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), blue;
Alpine Avens (Guem rosii ssp turbinata), yellow;
Dwarf Clover (Trifolium nanum), pink & white;
Pinnate Leaved Daisy (Erigeron pinnatisectus), white & purple;
Black Headed Daisy (Erigeron melanocephalus), white
|camera||Canon EOS Rebel T6s|
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