Mound Up: Cushion the Blow!

Some tundra plants take on the elements by growing into a mound-shaped cushion. This shape helps to shed wind (think of a dome tent), conserve solar warmth, and traps wind-blown dust that accumulates as soil for the plant.

Cushion plants may look cushy, but don't squeeze or step on them. The may be decades old and are quite delicate.

Look for cushion plants when you are on the tundra, especially in dry, windswept, rocky areas.

This cushion plant is getting ready to bloom. Note how compact the leaves are and how nothing on the plant sticks out much for the wind to catch!

 

These Moss Campion cushions are in full bloom!

Next: Succulence!