Perennials: Come Back Year After Year!

All of the plants you have seen so far on this web site are perennials. This means that the same plant grows back year after year, and even the very smallest plants on the tundra may be decades old. There are very few annual tundra species that die each fall to be replaced by new seedlings each spring.

When plants grow back every year, they don't have to successfully produce seeds each summer to sprout and grow the following spring. If the summer is too short, cold, or dry, the plant can just try again the next year!

Walking among these perennials puts extra responsibility on you when you visit the tundra. If a plant dies from rough treatment there usually won't be a seedling to replace it next year. So please, stay on the trail when possible. If going off the trail, gently step from rock to rock when you can. Otherwise tread as lightly as you can- the plants will thank you, and so will the next visitors to the tundra.

Greenleaf Chiming Bell plants provide stunning flowers year after year.


Respect your elders- these Violets might be older than you!


These Snow Buttercups may be buried under snow for up to 200 days a year- but they keep coming back year after year as long as we're careful around them.

Next: Skip the Seeds!